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Copyright, 1916, 

Set up and electrotyped. Published August, 1916. 

Berwick & Smith Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A. 

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Latin America and the United States resemble two 
neighbors who have long lived side by side, each too busy 
with private matters to take more than an indifferent if 
not hostile interest in the other. Recently we North 
Americans have been taking a broader interest in our 
neighbors. The building of the Panama Canal has di- 
rected our attention to the south. We have discovered 
that those vast unknown regions are inhabited by human 
beings worthy of being better k nown though their char- 
acter differ widely from our own. 

So great is our lack of acquaintance with our southern 
neighbors that few can say with ex-President Taft: — 
"I know the attractiveness of the Spanish American; I 
know his highborn courtesy; I know his love of art, his 
poet nature, his response to generous treatment, and I 
know how easily he misunderstands the thoughtless 
bluntness of an Anglo-Saxon diplomacy, and the too fre- 
quent lack of regard for the feelings of others that we have 
inherited." {The Independent, Dec. i8, 1913.) 

What ex-President Taft thus writes from personal 
experience, it is possible for others to learn by reading the 
books written by Spanish Americans. The main char- 
acteristics and trend of the Spanish-American jnind are 
Teveafed'iirhls titcrature. 

But shall we call SpaTush-American writings literature? 
\ professor in Argentina wished a few years ago to estab- 


lish a course for students in Spanish-American literature. 
The plan was opposed by Bartolome Mitre, ex-President 
of the republic and himself a poet and historian of the first 
rank, on the ground that such a thing did not exist. He 
held the view that mere numbers of books did not form a 
literature; though united by the bond of a common 
language, the printed productions of Spanish Americans 
had no logical union nor gave evidence of an evolution 
toward a definite goal. On the other hand, he admitted 
that their "literary productions might be considered, not 
as models but as facts, classifi ed as the expression of t heir 
social fife during three periods, the colonial epoch, the 
struggle for fr eedom, and the independent existence of the 
several republics." 

Such is the general plan adopted for this book. The 
conditions of life during the colonial period and the com- 
mon aim of the different countries during thej-evolutionary 
epoch gave a certain similarity to their literary produc- 
tions. Freedom won, however, each cou ntry pursue d its 
own course in literature as in politics. 

Tfies e two are interdependent. Literature is often 
meaningless without an understanding of contemporary 
politics. Everywhere the literary expression of politics is 
found in journalism. In Spanish America it is found also 
in verse and fiction. So the broad lines of politics have 

been taken in this book as a guide through the maze of 

The judgment which one renders on the value of Spanish- 
American literature depends entirely on the point of view 
with which the critic approaches its study. If he considers 
it a branch or sub-order of Spanish literature, he will reach 


conclusions similar to those of the late Marcelino Menen- 
dezy Pclayo in his Ilistoriade la Poesia Hispano-americana. 
To him as a Spaniard the exuberance of American pa- 
triotic verse is not only detestable but bad literature. To 
his iiiiiul only those productions have worth which ap- 
proximate the standard set by Spanish classics. 

Another critic has observed the frank imitation of 
French models. It is true that Spanish-American writers 
in their eagerness to reject Spain have taken France 
as the intellectual leader of their Latin America. The 
term Latin-American republics which they prefer has the 
justification of permitting the inclusion of Portuguese- 
speaking Brazil and an easy absorption of the numerous 
Italian element of Argentina. Moreover, it makes possible 
a claim of kinship with admired France. But a critic who 
^ attempts to set forth the literature of Latin America 
wholly on the basis of its relation to French literature will 
miss both its significance and its originalky. 

Both spring from the history and language of the Latin- 

American republics. The language of Spanish Arnerica is 
not only permeated with term^ and expressionsjtaken from 
. its daily life but also differs in pronunciation and str^icture 
from the Castilian even more than t he English of North 
America from the^ducjted speech of England. As to the 
origi n ali ty of Spanish-American literatur e it lies ch iefly in_ 
the subject-matter, in its pictures of natural scenery and 


laT life. 

From the moment of their discovery of America the 
Spaniards were amazed at the great rivers, the lofty 
Andes mountains, the luxuriance of tropical vegetation. 
And when they expressed their amazement in literary 


form, Virgil was their mod el. To the participants in the 
conquest of the new world their enterprise resembled the 
deeds of knight errantry related by Ariosto. So m imita- 
tion of his art they often wrote down the story of their 
exploits in poems in which truth sometimes paid tribute to 
form. In the nineteenth century, when the reconstruction 
of the past tecame the popular literary fashion under the 
influence of romanticism, the legends of the colonial period 
suppHed the poet with ample material. Later, when 
naturalistic fiction came into vogue, ambitious followers of 
Zola in Spanish America founcTrea^y at hand a novel 
type of socletylio portray. Thus the form of Latin- 
:An refi^airtiterauire |has _beenj^ while^ejna tter 


■ For ;m Engli sh-speaking Ame rican then who desires a 
better acquaintance with the mentality of his Spanish- 
American neighbors this book will offer a guide. The 
C literature of Brazil written in Portuguese and so rich as to 
require a volume^almost as large as the present for its 
adequate exposition, is therefo re not inc luded^ The reader, 
aware at the outset that he has before him an extremely 
provincial type of literature, will not expect great master- 
pieces. On the other hand, he will learn what effect has 
been produced on the transplanted Spaniard by living on 
the great plains of Argentina. He will better comprehend 
the difference between the sober energetic Chilean and the 
fun-loving Peruvian or the passionate Venezuelan. He 
will understand why there have been so many revolutions 
in Mexico. The anecdotes of poets' lives and the tragic 
stories of men who have lived and died for an ideal will 
inspire him with greater respect for a country which like 

pre: FACE XI 

Cuba struggled a whole century for its freedom. Even the 
names of the various writers, the constantly recurring 
Jose Maria, Joaquin, Manuel, will impress him with the 
deeply religious sentiments of these peoples. 

The'dTHiciiTty of preparing this book has been great. 
Only two really valuable collections of works by Spanish- 
American authors exist in this country, one in the library 
of the Hispanic Society of America, the other in the library 
of Harvard University. Both are far from being complete, 
but fortunately they supplement each other. Histories of 
the literatures of the several countries have been written 
by natives only of Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay, and 
these are defective in many ways. The dates of the births 
and deaths of the writers, for example, are not always 
given. Spanish Americans in treating the literatures of 
their own countries usually include a consideration of 
historical writings, but the limits of this book allow only a 
casual mention of the most important works of purely 
historical or scientific content. Periodicals, on the other 
hand, have demanded attention because, as the means of 
immediate publicity for literary endeavor, they have often 
played a considerable role in literary history and now sup- 
ply the investigator with much material. 

On account of the character of his sources of informa- 
tion, not always reliable, the author of the present volume 
may have wrongly estimated the work of any given writer 
or even omitted mention of some whom a compatriot may 
deem important. Any grievous errors either of judgment 
or of omission should therefore be condoned. 

The author wishes here to thank for their kind assistance 
in various ways Sefior Paul Groussac, the learned librarian 


of the national library at Buenos Aires, Sefior Carlos de 
Velasco, editor of the excellent review Cuba Contenipo- 
raneUy Sefior Pedro Henriquez Ureiia, critic and formerly 
professor at the University of Mexico, Sefior Max Hen- 
riquez Urefia, poet and essayist, Doctor Gonzalo Picon 
Febres, novelist and advocate of Americanism in litera- 
ture, the late Dr. W. R. Martin, librarian of the Hispanic 
Society of America, and Professor E. C. Hills. To J. D. M. 
Ford, Smith professor of literature in Harvard University, 
the author is indebted for the suggestion which led to the 
writing of this book. 

New York, 1916. 




I. The Colonial Period i 

II. The Rkvolutionarv Period 39 

III. The Revolltionary Period in North America . . 79 

IV. Argentina 104 

v. Uruguay 169 

VI. Chile 196 

\'II. Peru and Bolivia 244 

\'III. Ecuador 264 

IX. Colombia 273 

X. \'enezuela 305 

XI. Mexico 334 

XII. Cuba 373 

XIII. Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, America 431 

XIV. The Modernista Movement 450 

Bibliography -< 477 

Index of Names 483 





Spanish enterpri se on the America n continent had for 
its participants the nature of a conquest. Trained on the 
battle fields of Italy under leaders who had assisted Fer- 
dinand of Aragon to expel from Spanish soil the last of the 
Moorish invaders, they carried across the Atlantic the 
ideals of the successful soldier. A mere handful of them so 
well protected by steel armor against the weapons of the 
natives and so able to inspire terror in their opponents by 
means of their horses and the flash and roar of their mus- 
ketry was enough to win an empire. When a common 
Spanish soldier could rise to the possession of immense 
wealth and hold sway over millions of human beings, a 

n ew world had certainly been discovered. To Spaniards 
no other name was so fitting for this continent as that by 
which it was constantly called, "el Nuev o Mundo," The 
New W orid. 

They were not actuated, howev er, merely uy the lure of 
gold. A religious fanaticism carried them like crusaders 
into unknown dangers. Wherever they went their first 
care was to plant the cross. So early as Columbus' second 
voyage thirteen monies sailed with him for the purpose of 



converting the natives to Christianity. Thus the monastic 
estabhshment became an integral part of every consider- 
able Spanish settlement. To the honor of the monks and 
priests be it saidHthat, having the natives as their especial 
care, they made heroic efforts to protect the poor wretches 
from the rapacity of the seekers after gold. 

Columbus selected for permanent settlement on account 
of its gold mines the island which he named Hispaniola, 
now called Santo Domingo or Haiti. For many years it 
received a considerable immigration of men of substance 
coming to America with their families, though many later 
proceeded farther west. After the discovery of the main- 
land the two most important centers of Spanish civiliza- 
tion in America became Mexico City and Lima, La Ciudad 
de los Reyes, as it was named by its founder Francisco 
Pizarro, the conquistador of Peru. 

The Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, developed and extended 
under the more pronounceable name of Mexico, was estab- 
lished by Heman Cortes as the capital of Nueva Espaiia. 
The name Mexico for the whole country was not adopted 
till after the separation from Spain. New Spain or Mexico 
on account of its geographical situation, its climate, its 
greater proximity to the mother country possessed during 
the golden period of Spanish literature a high degree of 
culture. From those bibliographical manuals in rhyme, 
Cervantes' Viaje de Parnaso and Lope de Vega's Laurel 
de Apolo, written respectively in 1614 and 1630, one may 
learn how numerous were the versifiers and the dramatists 
who practiced the poetic art on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Peru also received a full contingent of men of letters, but 
on account of its greater wealth in gold and silver tTiere 


were attracted thither more purely adventurous spirits. 
Amonp them were men of the highest Spanish nobility. 
And a transfer in a governmental position from Mexico 
to Peru was apparently regarded as a promotion. 

The government of the Spanisli dominions in America 
was entrusted to viceroys assisted by a court or audiencia 
composed of several judges. At first Nueva Espana and 
Peru were the only viceroyalties, for outlying regions were 
administered by a member of the audiencia. It is needless 
to say that the holders of such responsible positions were 
men of education and culture. For their own entertain- 
ment the viceroys, if not always poets themselves as was 
sometimes the case, encouraged at their courts the produc- 
tion of literature. 

Even the first explorers _were often men of literary 
attainments. The letters of Columbus and the reports of 
Cortes to their monarchs are well known. Similar cartas 
df rdacion were returned to Spain from almost every ex- 
pedition, so that few events in history have been more 
fully covered by a written record than the^Spariish con- 
quest of America. These accounts of exploration and 
adventure have value not only as historical documents of 
prime importance but as literary productions. With due 
allowance for differences in style and point of view one^ 
may say thaTtKeTFwrTters had as keen an appreciation of 
sensational effect as ariylTiodem war correspondent. 

Ctose at tlu heets'orthe men at arms came friars who 
made it their business to gather at firstlianJ materials for 
t heir writings . The most famous of these is Fray Bar- 
tolome de las Casas whose Ilistoria de las Indias was 

written especially for the purpose of voicing an indignant 


protest against the treatment of the Indians at the hands 
of his fellow countrymen. Other historic al compilations, 
like the narratives of the conquistadores, are so numerous 
that a consideration of them is beyond the limits of this 
bo ok. THey cover p ractically e very pha se of_ Spanish 

Another class of writers, some of whom were members of 
religious orders, consisted of men bom in America who 
wrote with enthusiasm for love of their na tive soi l . Specia l 
interest attaches to those who had in their veins blood of 
the conquered races. Having learned from their mothers 
the native language and moods, they were able to pen- 
etrate beneath the surface of the aboriginal mind and 
traditions. In Peru the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega (I'^^O- 
1616) owed his title to his ancestry, his mother being of 
the blood royal, granddaughter of Tupac Yupanqui and 
niece of Huayna Capac, and his celebrity to his Comeii- 
tarios reales, published as written in two parts in 1609 and 
1616. As history the book is not absolutely reliable, but 
as entertaining literature it is unsurpassed by any other 
of the histories of Peru. Moreover, it presents within cer- 
tain limits the native point of view of the conquest, with 
many details of history and manners which only a person 
with such an ancestry could give. 

A somewhat similar position in the history of Mexico 
was held by Fernando de Alva Ixtliixochitl, a lineal de- 
scendant of the royal line of Tezcuco, who was employed 
by the viceroy as an interpreter. The results of his re- 
searches in native history, made early in the seventeenth 
century, were contained in various volumes of which the 
most important was entitled Ilistoria Chichimeca. The 


subject of aboriginal writers in Mexico alone requires 
however several books for its complete exposition. 

Education and culture in America were fostered by two 
actions of the SpanTsh authorities, the establishment of 

universities and the introduction of the printing press, 

both the care of the clergy. The first book printed in j 
America was the Breve y Compendiosa Doctrina Christiana ^ 
en lengua mexicana y casicllana, 1539, by Fray Juan de 
Zumarraga, first bishop of Mexico. By a strange coin- / 
cidence the first universities in America were both au- 
thorized by Charles the Fifth in the same year, 155 1, to \ 
be established in Mexico and Lima. 

The printing of a book in the Spanish colonies was not a 
matter to be lightly undertaken, for it was a costly opera- 
tion^ It was therefore enjoyed only by authors with 

money or wealthy patrons. For that reason many a poem 
of the early period has remained in manuscript. Recent 
interest in colonial history has brought to light some of 
these manuscripts. Doubtless many more still lie for- 
gotten in the dust of some library of Europe or America. 
One curious result of the expense attending the manufac- 
ture of a book is the fact that some of the best executed 
works, printed on the finest paper, and handsomely bound, 
are the most worthless from the point of view of literature. 
They contain the verses of occasion produced and recited 
at the exercises held to commemorate the death of a mon- 
arch, the birth of a prince, or the induction into his office 
of some viceroy. Concerning the history of the printing 
in Spanish America certain bibliographers have performed 
a notable service, and recorded every printed work. 

The sixteenth ccntur)^ was preeminently a period when \ 


the love of adventure possessed the souls of men, and the 
literary expression of that spirit in its most artistic form 

• is the Orlando furioso of Ariosta In its complete form 
the poem was published in 1532, one year before the au- 
thor's death. By the middle of the century not only 

I did metrical translations begin to appear in Spain but 

• original heroic poems in the same metrical form became 
the fashion. Acknowledged by every critic to be the most 
successful of these epical compositions was Alonso de 
Ercilla y Zuniga's poem. La Araucana^ based on per- 

^ son al ad ventures in Chile. Th is was the first work of real 
literary merit composed in America. 

In our review of literature during the colonial period 
of Raffish America iFTs^ecessa ry to omit consideration 
oTplirely hisroricat' records" Yet histories of course make 
up the bulk of what was wrftten atout America and in 
America at this time. And even when the writer thought 
to embellisFBis~story by putting it in metrical form, its 
value lies more in the historical facts than in its literary 
qualities. But the Araucana stands apart from the other 
poems of the same type both in its intrinsic worth and in 
Its i nfluence on Spanish-American literature even during 
the nineteenth century^ Regarding it the Spanish literary 
historian Ferrer del Rio says, "It would be difficult to 
find a livelier impression of the Spanish sixteenth cen- 
tury, the great passions of Charles V and Phillip II, war, 
daring navigation, distant conquests, a love for the un- 
known and for adventures, religious sentiment and vener- 
ation for the sacred objects of worship." 

Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga (1533-94) was born in the 
same year that Ariosto died. The translations o\ the 


Orlando furioso bcc;mic popular in Spain just before 
Ercilla set out for America. In fact Ercilla referred to 
Ariosto ns one of his modeLs; the imitation, however, was 
more general than particular, for Ercilla's episodes were 
chiefly historical facts, rather than poetical inventions. 
At the outset of his poem he announces that he does not 
intend to sing of ladies, love and chivalrous deeds which 
is quite contrary to Aristo who makes them the argument 
of his poem. Moreover, Ercilla in dedicating his work to 
Phillip II assured his monarch that it was a true relation; 
and to give weight to this assertion stated that the book 
was written in part during the war in Chile "often on 
leather for lack of paper and on bits of paper sometimes 
so small that they contained not more than six lines." 

Of highborn parentage Ercilla was attached at the age 
of Hfteen to tKeTuite of the prince PhUlip and accompanied 
him in 1548 when he went to take possession of the duchy 
of Brabant. He traveled vvTtli the prince over Europe 
for the next six years and was with him in England in 
1554 when Phillip married Mary Tudor. In England 
Ercilla made the acquaintance of Geronimo de Alderete, 
just appointed adelantado of Chile, who was to sail with 
the new viceroy of Peru, Andres Hurtado 3e Mendoza. 
ErcilTa, eager for tTie adventures in prospect, ^ecaiiseThews 
of the rebellion of the Araucanian Indians had reached 
Spain, joined the expedition and arrived at Lima in 1556. 
As the adelantado Al der ete died on the way, the vicer oy 
appointed his son Don Garcia to lead the army which 
should restore peace In Chile. After the war had been 
in progress Tor some time Ercilla had an unfortunate 
quarrel with a companion, Juan de Pineda. The facts 


are very obscure, but for some reason Don Garcia believed 
that the two men were conspiring against his authority. 
He condemned them both to be beheaded and the men were 
already on the scaffold before Don Garcia was persuaded 
to relent and commute their punishment to imprisonment. 
Not long thereafter Ercilla was released and allowed 
again to take part in the war. But he cherished such 
resentment against Don Garcia that he managed to leave 
Chile and return to Spain in 1562. There he found favor 
again with Phillip and high employment in business of 
state. In 1569 he published the first part, consisting of 
fifteen cantos, ot his "poerh La Araucana. The second 
part in fourteen cantos he completed in 1578 and the third 
part of eight cantos In 1590. 

The plan of the poem is to narrate in strictly chrono- 
logical order events in Chile. The first twelve cantos 
dea l with -thcTa"itts~ot the Indians on the Spanish settle- 
ments and the numerous reprisals which occurred before 
Ercilla's arrival. As Ercilla wished to minimize Don 
Garcia de Mendoza's part in the war the heroes of the poem 
are not the minor Spanish leaders whom he occasionally 
mentions but the Indian chiefs. The most attractive of 
these is the young Lautaro. In depicting his life Ercilla, 
with a poetic defense of the role of love in human life, 
probably by way of apology for changing his intention 
not to sing of ladies, introduces the reader to Guacolda, 
Lautaro's beautiful wife. Lautaro is surprised at night 
by her side and slain. After his death the most important 
of the various Araucanian caciques is Caupolican. Of 
the Spaniards a certain common soldier Andrea and Er- 
cilla himself play the most prominent roles. In fact 


Ercilla might he callici t\\v luio of tlii' poem if one takes 

into account tlu- aniount of space clevt)tecl to his personal 


On the other hand, the poem contain s certain long di- 
gressions from the main narrative. In part two by the 

machineryT oTa personal interview of the poet with the 
GoJ^dess Bellona contemporary events in Europe, espe- 
cially Phillip's victories in Flanders, are recited. Even 
the naval victory of the Spaniards over the Turks at 
Lepanto, though subsequent in time to the period of the 
poem, is described as it was revealed to Ercilla through 
the agency of a magic ball belonging to an old magician 
whom he met in the mountains. In the third canto there 
is a long digression about Dido. Ercilla is requested ^y 
some soldiers to relate the true story oTthe Famous queen 
who in his opinion has been much maligned. 

To the modern reader these digressions are blemishes, 
but at the time of the publication of the poem ftrey very 
likely assisted in making it popul ar. T he victories of 
their king and the naval fight at Lepanto were events of 
which the Spaniards were pleased to read stirring and 
poetic accounts. Against the baclcground of tTie distant 
war in Chile they wefe enhanced as by perspective. The 
book, imme^ately and Immensely popular, passed through 

more editions than any Spanish book of the century. 
The eloquent speeches which Ercilla put into the mo u t h s 
of both Spaniards and Indians met the taste of his day. 
The same may be said of the realistic details of battles 
and other adventures, so realistic at times as to be grue- 
some and repugnant, for Ercilla's descriptive power was 
very great. On the other hand, the poem lacks certain 


elements of general human interest so that it is not very 
attractive to-day. It is too intensely Spanish in senti- 

I ts local Chilean setting ^ however, has brought great 
popularity in Chile. To wns and localities have been 
named after the Indian heroes. In their war for inde- 
pendence Chilean orators and poets used to call them- 
selves "sons of Caupolican." The first war vessel of the 
Chilean navy was named "Lautaro." Episodes and in- 
cidents from the Araucana which is held to be almost a 
national poem, have been the inspiration of poems, 
novels and plays. 

After Ercilla's death a certain Diego de Santistevan 
Osorio, of whom nothing beyond what he tells of himself 
is known, published at Salamanca in 1597 a poem, La 
Araucana, Quarta y Quinta parte en que se prosigue y 
acaba la historia de D. Alonso de Ercilla. The adventures 
related appear to be wholly imaginary combats between 
the Indians and the Spaniards. 

Another poem, Arauco Domado, treating the same 
events in some sixteen thousand verses divided into 
nineteen cantos, was printed at Lima in ^96. The author 
was a native-born Chilean, Pedro de Oiia, the son of a 
Spanish captain fighting the Indians in southern Chile. 
He was sent to the University of San Marcos in Lima in 
1590. Two years later he took part in an expedition to 
Quito to quell an uprising. From this campaign he re- 
turned with much historical material and possibly the 
idea of putting into verse the deeds in the same region of 
Don Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza. 

In his poem Pedro de Ona declared himself an imitator 


of Ercilla Init iiiailf no pretension of coniptting with hini 
The Arducd'Domado TsTn no sense a continuation of the |F^ 
Jraucana but a new vtrsidn of the historical facts c on- v 
'tained in the second part of the hitter poem. The narra- 
tive begins with the sending to Chile of his son, Don 
Garcia, by the viceroy Don Andres Hurtado de Mendoza. 
Wliile Ercilla had written mainly about the Indians 
with slight reference to Don Garcia, Pedro de Qua de- 
sired to repair this injustice by relating the personal 
exploits of the Spanish commander. To emphasize the 
part played by that nobleman, Pedro de Ona did not 
hesitate to violate cither unity of plan or chronological 
order. His main narrative concerned the preparations 
of the savages for an attack on a Spanish fort and its 
successful defense by Don Garcia. The latter's subse- 
quent acts as viceroy of Peru in subduing a rebellion in 
Quito and in repelling the raid of the English admiral, 
Richard Hawkins, were introduced into the poem through 
the agency of the witch, Quidora, and the machinery of a 
dream. Though the love affairs of the Indians were 
fictions of the poet who invented them to relieve the 
strain of continuous warfare, the descriptions of their 
customs and those of the colonists have historical value. 
The poetic idyll of Caupolican and Fresia and the ad- 
ventures of Tucapel and Gualeva are interesting. Re- 
garding the author the poem reveals little but his serious 
and religious disposition. 

Pedro de Ona remained to the end of his days a diligent 
versifie r. There exist from his pen a couple of sonnets; 
a cancion of some length in which the river Lima addresses 
the river Tiber on the virtues of Fray Francisco Solano 


of Lima who after his canonization was made patron 
saint of Santiago de Chile in 1633; a second herioc poem, 
El VasaurOy found in manuscript in Madrid by Barros 
Arana, on the deeds of Don Andres de Cabrera; and a mysti- 
cal rehgious poem in six thousand verses divided in twelve 
books on the life of Ignatius de Loyola, El Ignacio de 
Loyola. Apparently the Jesuits requested O na to compose 
tht?~prDCTfi m honor of the founder of their society. No 
commission could have^b een more ag reea ble to the pi ous 
character of the poet as is partly showm by the care whic h 
he bestowed on the versification and the ornate rhetoric. 
Printed in Seville, 1636, the poem contributed to the 
author's reputation far more than the Arauco Domado. 
Lope de Vega in his Laurel de Apolo referring to this poem 
puts the serious lyre of Pedro de Oiia "alone among the 
swans of the Indies." Posterity may well consider Pedro 
de Ona as the foremost poet in Chile during colonial/ 

Another poem produced under the stimulus of the 
jprevailing fashion for heroic poems was found by Barros 
Arana in Madrid without title and name of author. The 
learned historian of the colonial literary history of Chile, 
Jose Toribio Medina, argues that the author was an 
unknown Juan de Mendoza mentioned by Alvarez de 
Toledo. The poem after giving a summary of Chilean 
history relates many minor events which occurred at the 
end of the sixteenth century. Though the reader's interest 
is rather harassed by the multiplicity of unconnected 
happenings, the central fact of the troubled state of the 
Spanish settlements stands out clearly. 

Hernando Alvarez de Toledo was another Spanish 


warrior and colonist who pleased hmisclf by the versifi- 

cation of his personal adventures^ He left Spain in 1581 
in company with the famous governor Alonso de Soto- 
mayor, who after an unlucky voyage, landed in Brazil 
and reached Chile by crossing the Argentine pampa 
and the Andes. The fifteen thousand verses of Alvarez* 
Purhi Indomito composed entirely without poetical in- 
ventions or fictions form a rhymed chronicle of his own 
feats of arms or those which he had heard in detail from 
his companions. To him the Indians are merely wily 
and treacherous enemies. Yet he gives many details 
about their habits, dress, adornments, ceremonies, method 
of fighting and the relations between them and the Span- 
iards. At times he puts into the mouths of the natives 
words about truth and the nature of God which are a 
satire on the actions of bad Spaniards. So great is his 
adherence to fact that his statements arc-gtven full his=- 
torical value by the historian Ovalle. The latter credits a 
portion of his history to the Araucanat another poe m by 
Alvarez which has been lost. 

Per sonal adventu re s fonjie d the substance of anotlier 
long poem printed at Lima, 1630, entitled Compendio 
historial de Chile by Melchor Xufre del Aguila (i ^68-1 637), _ 
The author boasted that he had come out at his own ex- 
pense. In the same year, 1581, in which Don Garcia Hur- 
tado de Mendoza was made viceroy of Peru, Xufre went 
to Chile to seek adventures in the war. He got nothing 
but a broken leg and loss of property. So he determined 
to retire to a life of leisure in the country and write an 
account of his experiences. His book has lent to it some 
historical value by a long letter preceding the poem by 


way of introduction from Luis Merlo de la Fuente, cap- 
tain general of Chile, who outlines the events of his ad- 
ministration from 1606 to 1628. 

In prose, if one omits works written with a serious 
purpose, few attempts at literature are to be found. Of 
these few one, Cautiverio feliz, by Francisco Nunez de 
Pineda y Bascunan (1607-82), was the most popular and 
widely read book of colonial times in Chile. The author, 
the son of a soldier much feared by the Araucanians, was 
placed by his father in a company of Spanish infantry 
which was called in 1629 to put down an outbreak of the 
Indians in southern Chile. The young man was one of 
a detachment attacked by overwhelming numbers and 
was taken prisoner with the few survivors. When the 
Indians learned his parentage, they were greatly delighted 
by their capture. Their leader Maulican determined to 
keep him alive though the other leaders wished to put him 
to death by torture. Bascunan remained in captivity 
seven months before he was ransomed. In his old age he 
wrote the story of it, leaving the manuscript to his chil- 
dren. Though the narrative was intended for history, it 
was written almost in the style of a novel. The reader is 
kept in dramatic suspense to the end wondering whether 
the good intentions of Maulican will prevail against the 
desires of those who seek the captive's death. The book, 
moreover, is a mine of curious facts about the Indians. 

The romantic interest felt by ^ome toward the natives 
appe ars in a strange b ook. Restaur acibn de la Im perial y 
con version de almas inhcles . by Fray Jua n deBarrenechea 
y Albi*, written in 1693. Medina classifies i_t^ as a novel. 
It is a fiction concerning Rocamila, the beautiful daughter 


of the Araucanian chief Millayan. Of her many lovers 
the most favored was Carilab. 1 heir wedding, however, 
is postponed and their relations greatly troubled by the 
war with the Spaniards and the multiplicity of adventures 
which happen to them. Ihe good friars and their efforts 
to Christianize the Indians claim a part of the nar- 

rhe habit of versifying history into which was incor- 

porated_on e's personal adventiir e.Sr possibly encouraged 
by the populartty oF ErciJ^la's poem^ became vyidesprea d 
in other centers of Spanish settlement than Chile. Most 
of tKesecompositions have been held in light esteem, on 
the one hand by historians as untrustworthy and on the 
other by writers on literature as prosaic. Apparently 
the more prosaic the versification the more accurate was 
the narration. In this respect the extreme is represented 
by CJaspar de VUlagra' s CgnQuista del Nuevo Afundo, pub- 
lished in 1610, a rhy med chroni cle of the attempt by 
Juan de Oiiate to settle in the country now called New 
Mexico about the year 1598. Whatever the opinion else- 
where, natives of the respective countries in which the 
scenes of these historical poems were laid have regarded 
them highly. To the local poet they have prove d a con- 
stant source ot mspiration. lo the loca l historian they 
have supplied invaluable details of genealogy and local 

Juan de CasrrM^p^"^ for this purpose contributed the 
most important document of all. His Elepas de Varonei 
ilustres ^ e India s consisting of some 150,000 lines is the 
longest poem of its kind in any language. The first part 
only was printed during the life of its author, but, the 


remainder appears to have been known though not printed 
complete till the nineteenth century. Part one, published 
in 1589, dealt with the voyages of Columbus and the early 
conquests and settlements of the Caribbean islands and 
the region near the mouth of the Orinoco, as well as the 
adventures of the infamous Lope de Aguirre. The author 
had already written part of his chronicle when a friend 
persuaded him to rival Ercilla by versifying it. The 
judgment of posterity believes he might better have stuck 
to prose. Nevertheless Juan de Cast ellanos possessed 
such an astonis hing ability i n ver sihcation_ that he^rote 
occasionaL_passages of real rngrit, so that from the point 

of view of poetry his poem may be given second place 
among versified chronicles. The second, third and fourth 
parts treat minutely the history of Nueva Granada and a 
par t ot Venezuela, with^Tess attempt at poetic embellish- 
ment as they approach the end. 

Inferior in j)oetic qualities but priceless for its informa- 
tion because no other records of the events of which it 
treats has come down to us is La Argentina y conquista 
del Rio de la Plata, con otros acaecimJentoT de l as reinos del 
Peru, T ucuman y estado del Bras il, published at Lisbon, 
1602, by Don Martin del Barco C entenera. The author 
was a soldier who took part in the expedition led by 
Juan Ortiz de Zarate into the interior of the Argentine. 
The poem is also valuable for biographical matter con- 
cerning Juan de Garay, the founder of Buenos Aires. As 
its title indicates the poem lacks unity of .subject-matter 
and it is overloaded with fa iry tales of g olden kingdoms 
and marvelous voyages. Redolent of the pampa, however, 
are his descriptions of the li fe of the savages, their method 


of hunting the wild ostrich with holas, and the anecdotes 
of their relations to each tit her ami to the Spanish settlers. 
Some of his love stories and episodes furnished excellent 
material to later poets. 

In Mexico the d eeds of fortes fou nd rhe|r epic poet in 
Antonio de SaaveJra Guz man who publishe d his Perrg rino 
Indiana in twenty cantos of octaves in 1599. The author 
says ot himself that he was corregidor of Zacatecas and 
that he spent seven years in collecting his material for 
a true history. As to his value the historian Prescott, 
who took a few details from his descriptions, estimated 
it in this wise, "Saavedra came on the stage before all 
that had borne arms in the conquest had left it." While 
Saavedra's stor>' is mainly an account of military exploits 
from the moment of Cortes' departure from Cuba to the 
capture of the city of Mexico after the building of the 
ships in the lake, he does not neglect the amours of the 
leaders with the native women. The book has the addi- 
tional bibliographical interest of being the hrst pnnteJ 
by a person pom m iviexico . 

baavedra's poem was neither the first nor the last on 
the same subject. Contemporaries praised highly the 
lost work of Franc isco de Terrazas^ whose sonnets show i^ 
real poetical feeling. The son of one of Cortes' most 
trusted officers, he is the fij;st native-bo m Mexican poet. 
A few octaves that have been preserved of his Nuevo^ 
Mundo y_ Conquista- show that Terrazas was especially 
siniful in depicting idyllic love scenes. Another rhymed 
chronicle, the Mexic o conquistada_ pf Juan_de Escojgujz 
has been dismissed by an eminent critic as "intolerable." 
On the other hand, the versification of Gabriel L asso_de 


la Vega's Co rtes Faleroso , published in 1588 with three 
additional cantos in 1594, is praised. And even better 
from the same point of view is the Hernandia of F rancisco 
Ruiz de Leo n though the matter of the poem printed in 
1755 is little more than the versification of Antonio de 
Solis' famous history of the conquest of Mexico. 

In Peru, contemporary with the rich hist^oricaL litera- 
ture dealing with the conquest, were written many short 
poemroiTvanous events. Pizarro's exploits were re lated 
in a~pioern of eight cantos which, however, was not printed 
before 1848. In that year a bookseller of Lyons discovered 
theTnarragcripnn the library of Vienna. Another longer 
manuscript poem in twenty cantos has for a title Armas 
Antdrticas, hechos de los famosos Capitanes espaiioles que 
se halla ron en la con quista del Peru. Judging from such 
extracts as he had seen the Spanish critic Menendez y 
Pelayo rated its poetic qualities higher than those of the 
more fortunate Li ma Fund ada Conquista del Peru printed 
in 1732 for its author Pedro de Peralta Bamuevo, the poet 
l aureate of the vicero ysof his day. 

These historical or heroic compositions on American 
topics, so amHtiousTy termed epic poems by their authors, 
Torm only a branch of the same tree which was HoiinshTng 
so lustily in Spain at the same perToH^ An occasional 
p'oefn treating an event in Spanisii history'^ even saw the 
light in America. Another thriving branch was the 
sacred epic ramifying mt6~pberTiT o'lTTlie" lives oTTaints 
arid noted cburehmenr" or the 'many poems in Spanish 
oiTthe life t#^tfe^Savtour the most excellent in all respects 
was La Cristiada p ublished in 161 1 by Fray Diego de 
(H)Ojeda who wrote its eloquent octaves in a convent of 



Lima. And in this outpouring of heroic verse what was 
more natural than that many a friar in America should 
desire thus to glorify the life of the founder of his order? 
Poems in many c. infos on the life of ins dc I.ovoInT" 
founder of the Jesuits, arc tspccially nunuiou-s. Earlier" 
than that by Pedro de Ona, already mentioned, was one 
by a friend of his, L uis d e^B elmonfe , ^i da del Patr iama^ 
Ignacio de Loyola, published in Mexico in 1609 and dedi- 
cated to the Jesuit fathers of Nueva Espana. The Domin- 
icans, not to be outdone by others, wrote in heroic verses 
the life of their celebrity, the Angelical Doctor, Thomas 
Aquinas. As if symbolic of his great learning the most 
peculiar of these poems entitled La Thomasiada^ was 
composed by Fray Diego Saenz Ovecurri and published 
in Guatemala, 1667. The poem aimed to be not only a 
biography but also a treatise on the art of poetry and a 
sort of encyclopedia in rhyme of matter taken from the 
works of the learned doctor. In the part relating to the 
art of poetry, examples of the most extravagant experi- 
ments in versification abound. 

Of the lives of saints in heroic verse, two especially 
achieved a certain reputation. The Gongorist title, La 
eloqti encia del silencio^ Poema heroyco, vida^j^^jnartyriQ 
del Gran Proto-AI arty r^ del sacram ental si^ilo, fideliss imo 
custodio de la Fatna , y protector de la Sa grada Compania 
de Jesus, San Juan^NrpomuceTio> is indicative of the style 
of the contents of this poem by a Mexican jurist Miguel 
de Reyna Zev allos^ published in 1738. The other is far 
more interesting, nda de Santa Rosa^dj^JLinia ^ P^lTonjL 
de l Per u by Luis _Antonio de Qviedo y Herrera , Conde de 
la Granja, published in 171 1. It is interesting not only 


because it relates the life of the most popular saint of 
America, Santa Rosa de Lima (as a measure of her popu- 
larity may be taken a certain bibliographical list of 276 
works referring to her), but also because it contains enter- 
taining descriptions of the country near Lima, of the 
raids of Drake and Hawkins on the Peruvian coast, and 
many other curious anecdotes of the life of the colony. 

In the matter of l yric ver se there were numerous prac- 
titioners of it at all periods in America^ Students of 
Spanish literature will remember that following the 
manner of the poet-soldiers who brought back to Spain 
from Italy the new forms there arose in Seville a school of 
versifiers. A leading member of the school, Gutierre de 
Cetina, found his way to Mexico where in 1554 he was 
severely wounded by a jealous lover who mistook him in 
the dark for the object of his suspicions, a wound from 
which the unlucky poet probably died three years later. 
Another Sevillan poet who spent some time in Mexico was 
Juan de la Cueva. Among his literary remains exists an 
interesting description in tercets of the city of Mexico. So 
numerous in fact were poets among the adventurers in 
Mexico that at a poetical contest in 1585 no fewer than 
three hundred (?) took part according to the testimony of 
one of t he winne rs. 

The latter was Bernardo de Balbuena(i 568-1627) w ho 
\ \ in later life l5ecame Bishop of Puerto Rico. And for the 
. \ feeting whtch~His works show tor the tro pical luxurian ce 
V v^ of^Aineric^riie'may be termed the ^st in poin t of time of 
•4 Americ^TTjoeJir" BaTbiiena's most important poem. La 


\randeza Mexicana, originally printed in Mexico in 1604, 
and many times reprinted, even in the nineteenth cen- 


tury, sets forth the beauties and woiulers of Mexico, its 
wealth in precious metals and jewels, the strange costume 
of its inhabitants, its fiery horses, the rich fabrics brouKhr 
thither in transit from China and the Philippine Islands. 
I he poem is written in tercets and divided into nine parts. 
In 1608 he published El Sigh dr Oro en las Sfhas de 
Eri^e, a pastoral novel In prose and verse, the latter 
consisting of twelve eclogues in imitation of Theocritus, 
Virgil, and Sannazaro. For its value as a monument of 
Spanish literature the Spanish Academy made a special 
edition of it in 1821. No less ambitious was Balbucna in 
vying with Ariosto in his longest poem El Be rnardo la 
Ficto ria de Roncesvalles i n twenty-four cantos. In one of 
them the hero is conveyed to Mexico where the Tlascalan 
wizard reveals to him the future conquest of Mexico. 

Of Spanish versifiers who visited Lima about the be- 
ginning of the seventeentli century tlie names of those 
known_to Cervantes and Lope de Vega are very numerous. 
In real poetic worth a certain anonymous poetess who 
corresponded in rhymed epistles with Lope de Vega, sign- 
ing herself "Amarilis," excelled the rest. And no specula- 
tion as to the identity of the lady has proved successful. 
At the court of the viceroys who were themselves of the 
highest Spanish nobility were many individuals of noble 
rank. And the customs of their gay society demanded 
much scribbling of verses as well as dramatic representa- 
tions. The Prince of Esquilache, viceroy from 161 5 to 
1622, himself possesses a place in Spanish literature as a 
poet of the second rank, author of epistles and sonnets in 
the manner of Argensola and of an epic poem NdpoUs 
recuperada. His own works contain no references to his 


sojourn in the new world, but it is known that he main- 
tained a sort of literary academy in his residence. 

Of books of verse produced during colonial times a few 
deserve mention. The Primera parte del Parnaso Antdrtico 
■ de GbrdT'dmdtorias by Diego Mexia was printed in 1608. 
The title refers to a very praiseworthy translation of Ovid's 
Heroides which the author, as he himself relates, made in a 
long journey from Lima to Mexico. The prologue to his 
book is interesting for the references to his journey. 

The Miscelanea austral printed in Lima in 1603, though 
primarily a series of forty-four colloquies by its author, 
Diego de Avalos y Figueroa, on all sorts of subjects of most 
diverse character, love, jealousy, music, horses, the origin 
of rings, contains many verses by others as well as a long 
poem in six cantos. La Defensa de Damas, in which Diego 
de Avalos attempts to refute by anecdotes those who 
write ill of ladies. 

A sort of anthology Ramillete de varias flores poeticas 
recogidas by Jacinto de Evia, a native of Guayaquil, offers 
an idea of the state of poesy in 1675. At that date Gon- 
gorism was the fashion in Spain and Evia's Sevillan master 
of rhetoric, Antonio Bastid^as7 whose own poems are really 
tine best In the ^ook7iTad~taught him the secret of pre- 
ciosity. The third poet who?e tines appear here was a 
native of Bogota, HemanSo^Dominguez CamaTgo. As a 
sample oThis conceltsliTiay ^ talceh some verses in which 
he compares the water of a certain cascade to a bull or to 
a stallion about to be dashed to pieces against the rocks. 
Dominguez Camargo was the author also of a Gongorist 
poem on the life of Ignatius of Loyola. The Ramillete 
is a curious book whose verses of occasion, sonnets and 


inscriptions, and extracts in artificial prose convey a lively 
idea of life in Ecuador. 

Books of verse very popular in Lima, if one can judge 
by the number of manuscript copies which seem to have 
existed, were the Dicntc- del Paniaso and Poesias varias of 
Juan del Valle y Caviedes. Their interest lay in the 
sparkling Andalusian wit of the author's lines. He was 
born the son of a Spanish merchant and had been sent at 
about the age of twenty to Spain where he remained three 
years. On his return to Lima about 1681 he fell sick as the 
result of dissipation. He whiled awayliis convalescence 
by writing satiric verses on his doctors whom he lampooned 
by name. His verses circulated in manuscript and were 
undoubtedly increased in number by other wits who put 
their smart and possibly obscene productions under his 
name. It is noteworthy that at such an early period the 
characteristic of later Peruvian literature, its gayety and \ 
humor, thus made its appearance. 

At the close of the seventeenth and the opening of the 
next century there were bom in P eru several men of re- 
markable mental equ ipment : who deserved to have fallen 
on an epoch more propitious in inspiration. By that date 
the ravages of Gongorism were at their height m Spanish 

literature and precisely b y a d efense of Gongora, Apol- 

ogetico en favor de D. Luis de Gongora, published in 1694 has 
the learned doctor Juan de Espinosa Medrano distin- _ 
guisned himself. The book is a creditable piece of literary 
criticism and gives evidence of the ability of a man who at 
fourteen years of age composed autos and comedies and at 
sixteen filled a professorial chair in the university of Cuzco 
where he taught all his life, beside being connected with 


the cathedral in various capacities. He left behind also 
volumes of sermons and theological works. A poem of his 
El Aprendiz de Rico which draws a moral from the con- 
demnation and death of a silver miner for counterfeiting 
coin throws an interesting light on a phase of existence 
in that ancient capital of the Incas. 

The doctor of Cuzco was not, however, such a marvel 
of encyclopedic knowledge and literary accomplishment as 
Pedro de Peralta Bamuevo Rocha y Benavides. Of his 
heroic poem Lima Fundada mention has already been 

made. He was^y profession professor of mathematics in 
the university of Lima and made some astronomical 
observations on eclipses the results of which he published. 
In fact his works, including his scientific essays on military 
and civil engineering, on metallurgy, on navigation, on 
history, number no less than forty-eight between 1700 and 
1740. Beside being several times rector of the university 
he was the poet laureate of the viceroy. For that reason 
his name appears on the many volumes of verses which 
record the feasts and funerals of the period. He wrote 
likewise several pieces for the stage beside a meritorious 
adaptation of Corneille's Rodogune. His contemporary 
the Spaniard P. Feijoo reckoned him the equal ot the most 
erudite men ot turope! 

The custom of celebrating public events by issuing 
volumes of bombastic and laudatory verses was not con- 
fined to Peru but was practiced in Mexico too. And in 
general the bulk oFMexican verse is hot onFy greater b ut 
on account of a few artificers it ranks better in quality. A 
stimulus to such abundant prod uction was the cu stom of^ 
"poetic contests. 


One of the best poems i)f tlu- scvtiiticnth century was so 
much admired that numberless imitations and glosses of it 
were written and it is to-day pleasant reading, Cancion a la 
Vista de un Dcsengaho, by a Jesuit Father Matias de 
Bocanegra. It is divided into six parts on the following 
theme: A young monk is listening to the song of a linnet. 
The bird would not sing in a cage he is sure. Just so the 
loss of his liberty irks him and he complains. He decides 
to break his vows and enter the world. Before he can 
carry out his determination he is confounded to see a 
falcon seize and rend the linnet. The thought comes to 
him that if the weaker bird had been protected by a cage 
it would not have suffered death. It died because it was 
free. The moral of this lesson prevents the young monk 
from breaking his vows. 

One wishes that more of the verse by friars had been 
written with such poetic simplicity of expressron~r3ther 
tlian in the tedious conceits of such £oems on set religious 
topics as appear in the book entitled Triumpho parthenico 
quf en glorias de Maria Santissima inmaculadamente 
concebida celebro la Pontifica, Imperial, y Regia Academia 
Mexicana etc. . . . Describelo D. Carlos de Siguenza y 
GongorOy Mexicano, y en ella cathedrdtico propietario de 
Mathemdticas. En Mexico i68j. The professor in his 
poetic style, even in his earlier poem published in 1668, 
Primavera Indiana, Poema sacro-historico, idea de Maria 
Santissima de Guadalupe, lived up to the tradition of his 
maternal name of Gongora. This poem narrated in 
seventy-nine royal octaves the story of the appearance to 
the baptized Indian Juan Diego of our Lady of Guada- 
lupe. Since the building of the church on the spot desig- 


nated by her radiant apparition, the native religion ma- 
terially declined. The present rich edifice dedicated to 
the patron saint of Mexico was built during the lifetime 
of Sigiienza y Gongora (1645-1700). As a cyclopedic 
scholar he was only equalled in America by the Peruvian 
doctor Peralta de Bamuevo. Sigiienza made many 
scientific and archaeological studies. Useful is his study 
of the Aztec calendar which he investigated for the pur- 
pose of establishing the chronology of that people. From 
his pen came numerous works on mathematics and as- 
tronomy which must be respected for their learning though 
they bear such titles as a certain Belerofonte jnatemdtico 
contra la Quimera astrologica. 

Toward the end of the seventeenth century a real poetic 
genius saw the light in Mexico. Being a woman and a 
poetess she was styled in accord with the bombast of 
the time "la Musa Decima mexicana," that is to say 
"the Tenth Muse a Mexican woman." She was bom 
Juana Ines de Asbaje y Ramirez de Cantillana (1651-95). 
At seventeen years of age she became a nun, assuming 
the name Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz by which title she 
has since been known. She was possessed of the most 
intense intellectual curiosity. At one time she had gath- 
ered in her cell a library of no less than four thousand 
volumes. Her fame in worldly learning and in profane 
literature causmg the Bishop of Puebla some worry, he 
wrote her a letter over the signature of "Sor Philotea de 
la Cruz" beseeching her as an admiring sister to have a 
care for her soul. She replied in a letter which the bishop 
had printed with the title of Carta athenogorica. 

Its theme was a defense of the education of women, 



but its interest to the world now consists in the bio- 
grapTiical details concerning the writer. Very little else 
is known. T!Tic TearneJ to rcalPat tTie age of three. At 
eight she composed a loa in honor of the holy sacrament. 
At about the same time she begged her parents to send 
her up to the University of Mexico dressed as a man. 
However she had to content herself with twenty lessons 
in Latin in which language she acquired proficiency by 
her own unaided efforts. Becoming a maid of honor to 
the vicereine of Mexico, she was "tormented for her 
wit and pursued fur her beauty," until she took the veil 
in the convent of San Geronimo. From that moment 
her cell was her study. A certain superior at one time 
forbade her to use her books. She obeyed for three months 
but though she neglected her books she "studied all the 
things which God created." Though in her reply to the 
admonition of Sor Philotea, she defended her course of 
life, yet she was moved to sell her books and devote her 
mind to acts of piety. Shortly thereafter she died a 
victim of an epidemic. 

Her collected literary works fill three volumes. The 
first^v Cai J [Jiiui e d in 169 8 with th «-florid title Imindacion 
Castdlida de la unica poetisa, musa decima, sor Juana Ines 
de la Cruz. The third volume published after her death 
was entitled Fama y Obras postumas del Fenix de Mexico, 
decima musa, poetisa americana, sor Juana Ines dela Cruz. 
Some of her productions were printed separately, as the 
verses indited in celebration of the arrival of the Conde 
de Paredes as viceroy, and called Neptune alegurico, 
ociano de colores, simulacra politico. Sor Juana wrote not 
only verses but plays. For the Condesa deares Ped'sTTe 


composed an Auto sacramental del Divino Narciso, por 
alegorias. Like their titles these compositions are Gon- 
goristic. In fact her contemporaries praised her most 
highly for her most obscure compositions. On the ottier 
Tiand, she wrote many poems instinct with sincere feeling 
and unclouded by the pedantic taste of the epoch. Her- 
lyrics suggest that her passionate temper was not always 
stirred solely by mystical love nor by feigned jealousy. 
Those verses of hers which have been best remembered 
were satirically directed against the detracto rs of women , 
foolish men who are to blame for the very faults in women 
that they^ensure. As for her rank in the world of letters, 
after the Cuban Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, the 
sje cond place am ong women of American birth who have 
written in Spanish m ay be rightfully accorded to S or 
Tuana Ines^e la Cruz. 

Her death was followed by the literary sterility of the 

eighteenth century . The only Mexican writer ofXlas^ 
tilian worthy of mention in this period was Francisco 
Ruiz de Leon whose Hernandia was a last effort to write 
epic poetry on the subject of the conquest of Mexico. He 
was the author of a devout poem in three hundred and 
thirty-three decimas with the alluring title Mirra dulce ■ 

para aliento de pecadores. The mainstay of literature, 
the friars began to neglect the vernacular for Latin. Of 
these Latinists there is a formidable list. A certain 
^Jesuit father Rafael Landivar is the only one sufficiently 
original to have left behind any literary influence. A 
long poem in fifteen books, Rusticatio mexicana, in the 
style of the Georgics of Virgil, set forth the natural beau- 
ties and wonders of America. Descriptive poetry of this 



sort, beginning with Balbuena's Grandfza mtrxicana, has 
a long history in America. Parts of Landivar's poem 
were not only translated by some into Spanish but were 
imitated by others. 

Ruiz de Leon's Mirra duke by some peculiar chance 
happened to be one o\ the hrst books of verse printed in 
Bogota. Colombia was not an especially fertile field for 

the cultivation orietters. Contemporary with Sor Juana 

and inditing verses to her was a certain Francisco Alvarez 
de Velasco y Zorrilla. And in prose there exist two books 
which the Colombians are proud to exhibit as productions 
of their early literary- histor}', Sentimientos EspirituaUs 
by a nun Francisca Josefa de la Concepcion, known also 
as the Madre Castillo and an autobiography, Vida de la 
venerable Madre Castillo. 

In the neighboring territory of Ecuador poetic and 
literary activity seems to have been a little greater. A 
Jesuit father, Juan de Velasco, himselFtlie autTior of an 
interesting Historia del reino de Quito, preserved the 
verses of his contemporaries which he prepared for the 
press in a miscellany in six volumes, entitled El Ocioso de 
Faenza. The best of these poems show a real feeling for 

One activity of the friars should by no means be over- 
Jooked. They interested themselves keenly in the nati ve 
languages for the purpose of teaching the abori gines t he 
gospel of Christ. Grammars and dictionaries, catechism^ 
and books of devotion in the native tongues abound. 
And stranger still there exist plays, many of religious 
character whose intent is obvious. The friars, finding in 
the native dances something of a dramatic character, 


from the first made use of this rudimentary drama to 
farther their efforts in convertmg the Indians. It was an 
easy matter to turn into the native tongu es the religious 
plays or autos of which the Spaniards were so fond for 
their owrTedHication. But secular plays were also adapted. 
1 hree plays of Lope de Vega are said to have existed in a 
Mexican dialect, Nahuatl. To literary historians a cer- 
tain drama in the Peruvian or Quechua language, Ollantdy 
has long presented a problem of interest. 

The argument of the play is briefly as follows: Ollanta 
(or Ollantay) is a chief of lowly birth who meets parental 
opposition in his love for Cusi-Coyllur (Joy-star), daughter 
of the Inca. Her father dismisses the young man's suit 
with anger. The Andean mountaineers among whom 
Ollanta has taken refuge make him their king, with 
Ollantay-Tambo as his stronghold. After a few years 
the old Inca dies and his son Ima-Sumac reigns in his 
stead. The ten-year-old daughter of Ollanta and Cusi- 
Coyllur appears on the scene as an inmate of the convent 
where the elect virgins of the sun reside in Cuzco. She 
discovers that her mother is kept there a prisoner. By 
treachery Ollanta is bound in chains and brought before 
the Inca. The latter however pardons him. At that 
moment Ima-Sumac rushes into the Inca's court and 
tearfully relates the cruelties inflicted on her mother 
in prison. The Inca and Ollanta go to the convent of 
the elect virgins. Both recognize Cusi-Coyllur who is 
released by the command of the Inca and given in mar- 
riage to Ollanta. 

It was formerly believed that this play was a relic of 
a Quechuan literature. The early Spanish historians, 


notably tin- Inoa Garcilasso de la Vega testified that a 
riulc toriu i)f drama txisttd ainon^ the Peruvians. Rut 
investigation has revealed not only that the rhetorical 
structure of Ollanta is that of a Spanish drama but also 
it is written in meters peculiar to Spanish, such as re- 
dondillas, quintillas and decimasy/ Much printer's ink 
has been shed over this play and its authorship. The 
last and most thorough study of it, that of Prof. E. C. 
Hills, seems to show that a certain Antonio Valdes, parish 
priest of Tinta, who produced it with great pomp be- 
tween 1770 and 1780, was its author. 

Other clergymen familiar with the native tongue used 
the drama to assist their religious teachin g. The learned" 
doctor Juan de Espinosa Medrano, was the author of an 
Juto sacramental del Ilijo Prodigo in which the scriptural 
stoiy of the prodigal son is edify ingly set forth with realistic 
details. Another considerable play in the Quechua lan- 
guage has for title Use a Paucar, by an unknown author. 
The dramatic quality of this play is meager, but its theme 
shows that it was intended to urge upon the natives the 
veneration of the Virgin at the chapel of our Lady of 

This church stood on the south shore of Lake Titicaca 
where the aborigines had a sanctuary before the coming 
of the Spaniards. To adorn their mission the Augustinians 
by whose care it was maintained, brought from Spain an 
old painting of the Virgin. This way of converting the 
natives was similar to that pursued in Mexico at the 
establishment of the church of our Lady of Guadalupe. 
And while the relative greater importance of the latter 
has evoked more devotional verse, our Lady of Copaca- 


bana had the signal honor of being staged in a play by 
Calderon, La Aurora en Copacabana, who drew his argu- 
ment either from a poem El Santuario de Nuestra Seiiora 
de Copacabana, by Fray Fernando de Valverde, or a prose 
narrative of the mission of the Augustinian fathers. 

The history of the drama in Spanish America, apart 
from the loas and allegorical pieces produced to celebrate 
s ome viceroy's arrival, is Obscure. The thorough est ab- 
lishment of the theater in Mexico is plain, however, from 
Balbuena's testimony, who refers to the production of 
"new comedies every day.'* Among the Spanish poets 
who sought fortune in Amenca were several dramatists, 
as Juan de la Cueva and Luis de Belmonte Bermudez. 
One of the most famous of the Spanish dramatists of the 
golden period was on the other hand bom in Mexico, 
Juan Ruiz de Alarcon (died 1639). Though contemporary 
with Lope de Vega, his plays were distinguished from 
the latter's by a greater care for form and a more careful 
psychological analysis of the characters. Alarcon's sober- 
ness and the epigrammatic quality^ of his style were, in 
the opinion of a recent critic, Pedro Henriquez Urena, 
the contributions of his Mexican birth. The high altitude 
of central Mexico seems to tone down thejiative exuber- 
ance of the Andalusian. It is possible too that Alarcon 
learned the dramatic art in Mexico where two of his pub- 
lished comedies, El semejante a si mismo and Mudarst 
por mejorarse, may have been written, since they abound 
in expressions peculiar to Mexico. 

A dramatist whose whole career was spent in Mexico, 
though he was probably born_ij} S^iairii was j^man jGlon- 
zalez de Eslava. His works have been preserved in a 


book printed in 1610, years after his death, with the title, 
Coloquios tspiritualfs y Poesias sagradas. Though the 
form of his plays is mainly the allegorical, he introduces 
in the dialogue an endless series of everyday characters 
whose language, full of idioms and even vulgarisms, re- 
veals as no other book the speech current in Mexico at 
that p(?riod. 

The colonial history of Spanish America is faithfully 
m i rrored m its literary producti ons. The prose narrativ "^s 
and the heroic poems picture the period of discovery and 
conquest durmg the sixteenth century. As the viceroys' 

courts become more important in the seventeenth century 

poe ms of occasion represent t he secular side of life, while 
the friars' interests are revealed in devodonal writing in 
verse and prose, in dramas intended for mstr uction, and 
in miscellaneous works in both the vernacular and Latin 
concerning the activities of their orders" At the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century a profound lethargy 
descends on colonial life which remains almost unbroken 

till the~great upheaval of the revolutionary period in the 

early years of the nineteenth centur>> 

There were, however, a few stirrings which broke the 
calm in the different countries. In Mexico the p rerevolu- 
tionary awakening centers in Fray Manuel de Navarrete / 
(1768-1809). This Franciscan friar endeavored to restore 
poetry by founding a literary society, the "Arcadia "X 
mexicana" and by writing anacreontics of shepherds and , 

shepherdesses in the style of the Spanish poet Melendez, / 

but without a hint of sensuality. His eclogues were writ- 
ten on the other hand after the manner of Garcilaso de la 
Vega. Navarrete displayed more originality, or at least 


a personal note, in his religious verse. As his style was 
fluent and musical he attracted admirers who followed 

him in his classicism. But they lived to witness the 
revolution and wrote under its inspiration their more 

important pieces. The poetic style of the Mexican revolu- 
tionary poets is rather better than those of other regions, 
a fact to which Navarrete's influence may have contrib- 
uted. ~~ 

Over South America a wave of scientific investigation 
in all departments of natural history and physical geog- 
"Taphy^pread during~tTie last HaTToT t"he~eTgHte enth cen- 
"'tury. IrrBogota, the capital of the new viceroyalty of 
'"Nueva~Ofanada established in 1740, a botanist and scien- 
tist of the first rank, Jose Celestino Mutis, a Spaniard, 
began his teaching in 1762 ^ A whole generation of en- 
thusiastic students were trained in his clas ses. T he most 
^^bTintanFoTthem was Francisco Jose Caldas who became 
the master's successor. Caldas, as one branch of his 
studies, formed a herbarium of five to six thousand plants 
of this region of America, accompanied by an exhaustive 
account of the different altitudes and localities where 
each plant throve. As director of the astronomical ob- 
servatory he made many useful studies of various charac- 
ter some of which he made public in a special periodical 
El Semanario de la Nueva Granada. To this journal 
many contributed both scientific articles and even verses. 
And it was this little group of lovers of science who first 
conspired against the hegemony of Spain. Some of them 
were sent as prisoners to Spain while others, among them 
Caldas, met their death from the rifles of a firing party in 


In Ecuador the scientific spirit as cmboclitd in a skillful 
physician. Dr. Francisco Eugenio de Santa Cruz y Espcjo, 
paid attention to the subject of education. In 1779 he 
put into clrculatTon liTs Nuevo Luciano despertador de 
ini^enxos. It was a critical satire in dialogue form which 
exposed the evils of the prevailing system of education. 
Later Dr. Espejo satirized personally the Spanish colonial 
"minister, an exploit which cost him a year in prison and 
banishment to Bogota. There his writings assisted in 
preparing the revolution. 

In Peru science was fostered by the viceroy Francisco 
Gil de Taboada, who had been an admiral in the Spanish 
navj-. He permitted the establishment of a society "Los 
Amantes del Pais^'^and the publication, 1791, of a journal 

El Mercurio peruana which was mainly devoted t^ scien- 
tific topics. The editor and most learned contributor was 
Dr. Hipolito Unanue, professor of medicine in the univer- 

But the most celebrated literary production of this 
epoch in Lima was at the opposite pole of seriousness and 
respectability. The name of the book which has been 
many times reprinted was Lima por dentro y fuera by 
"Simon Ayanque," a pseudonym of Esteban de Terralla 
yXanHa^ ihe author was an Andalusian who eked out a 
living by writing verses of occasion. In 1792 he published 
his satire of the types of individuals in Lima. The title- 
page of the book gives a hint of the levity and even the 
obscenity of some of its seventeen romances. The eccle- 
siastical authorities considered suppressing it but such 
action was not necessary to complete its popularity. Its 
literary value, even as a provocative to laughter, has been 


unanimously denied by critics, but its ready sale both to 
" contemporaries and to later generations, especial ly in a 
cer tain edition embellished by colored d rawings, testifies 
to an element of truth in its portraiture . 

Satire of the authorities was about the only method 
f' by which discontent at this time could express itselF. In 
Chile a mock epic La Tucapelina, which for the personal 
safety of its author circulated in manuscript, burlesqued 
the captain general and his deputies for their part in the 
restoration of a church at Tucapel in 1783. This poem 
and certain others descriptive of disasters in Chile seem 
now at least to echo rumblings of the approaching storm 
of revolution. 

Across the Andes from Chile on the shores of the Atlantic 
the eighteenth century witnessed the rapid growth of the 
commerce of Buenos Aires. In 1776 thejvast re£ ion now 
Tcnown as Argentina including most of modem Bolivia 
was established as a vTceroyaTty. Tdjuan^ose Vertiz, 


viceroy from 1778 to 1784, the city of Buenos Aires owed 
its first steps in transition from a wretched town to a 
modem capital. He founded all manner of public works, 
a system of street lighting, a college, a hospital, an orphan 
asylum, and even a theater. For the benefit of the orphan 
asylum he established a printing press so that the first 
book printed in Buenos Aires dates from his administra- 

As the first rector of his new Cole gio de San Carl^S; 
Vertiz a ppointed Juan Baltasar Maziel (1727-88) , an 
ecclesiastic of liberal tendencies and wide reading ow ning 
the best library of the city. Maziel was an interesting 
personality who wl^ote much in prose and verse. Two 


satirical sonnets of his brought him into conflict with a 
subsequent viceroy, the Marques de Loreto, who sum- 
marily seized his person and transported him to Mon- 
tevideo. Maziel died before the news of his own vin- 
dication by the Spanish king's order reached America. 
About Maziel there sprang up a Hterary circle. 

His friend and defender in fhe COnrroversy over the 
sonnets Manuel Jose de Labardcn (1754-1809) was a 
man of unusual literary ability. His claims on fame are 
two, an ode .41 Parana, and a play Siripo, both the more 
remarkable as anticipating subsequent Argentine litera- 
ture. The verses descriptive of the great river penetrating 
far to the interior were the first about the landscape from 
which so many later poets drew their inspiration. Siripo __ 
is a play treating the relations of the white men and the 
aborigines. It breathes of the pampa. The life of the 
pampa in the form of gaucho poetry makes the originality 
of Argentine verses and plays. 

The stor>'^ of Siripo, drawnfrom an early chronicle. 

was frequently rehandled by others. A young white 
woman, Lucia Miranda, in a raid on the settlements, was 
taken captive by the cacique Siripo. Her husband joined 
her in captivity. Siripo condemned him to death but 
offered him his life on condition that he marry into the 
tribe while Lucia became Siripo's bride. The pair refuse. 
Their faithfulness to each other so exasperated the savage 
that he had them put cruelly to death. 

This drama was first repre sented in the carnival of 

1789 and immediately brought its author renown. The 

^ay had been long written however for Xabarden read 

some of the scenes at Maziel's house. Moreover, in his 


youth Labarden had been a student at Chuquisaca in 
upper Peru where he was on intimate terms with Valdes, 
the discoverer or author of the Quechua drama Ollantd. 
In Valdes' small collection of dramatic books Labarden 
had his only opportunity to learn the dramatic art. And 
it is possible that Valdes' reading of Ollantd gave Labar- 
den the idea of writing Siripo. 

Labarden's ode Al Parana embellished the first number 
of the first periodical printed in Buenos Aires, April i, 
1801, El Telegrafo mercantil rural politico, economico, e 
historibgrafo del Rio de la Plata. An outlet for the thoughts 
of the restless spirits whose education had been acquired 
in Vertiz' Colegio de San Carlos was thus supplied. After 
a year's successful publication its suppression was caused 
by the satires of a festive versifier. But the ground was 
prepared. Other papers followed. The means of pub- 
licity and the ability to write were at hand when in the 
firsird^cade~bf the mnete'ehth cenTury the idea of revolu- 
troif spread abroad in this part of America which first 
— sttccessfntty^sserted its independence from Spain. 



The literature of the revolutionary period sprang di- 
rectlv from the hearts oTlnen, a^terature oToccasioirTn- 

spired by the hopes and aspirations of the colomaTs or the 
events of their warfare against the mother country. To 
comprehend its meaning then one must foITow Its produc- 
i tion step by step under the stress'of the mighty struggle. 
Its forms were often rude and uncouth b ecause literar y 
models within reach of the writers were few. In Chile 
for example Camilo Henriquez patterned his verses on a 
single volume of the poems of Tomas Iriarte, the only book 
of poetr>' which he could find in Santiago. The scarcity 

of books in Spanish America was due in part to the ob- 

scurantist-pohcy oF tlie Spanish government. In the reign 

of Carlos IV, when a question arose concerning the chair 

of mathematics in the University of Caracas the king 

abruptly dismissed the matter by the dictum, "It is not 

expedient to educate the Americans." Education had 
fallen to a low plane in Spain itself so that the state of 
culture in the motRer country was naturally reflected in 
the colonies. 

The lack of books was aggravated by the scarcity of 
printmg presses. Though printing presses were set up in 
Lima and Mexico in t he sixteenth century, there were , 
none in Havana before 1787 nor in Chile before 181 1. To 



Venezuela the first press was brought by General Miranda 
in 1806 as a weapon to spread the propaganda of revolt. 
Moreover, the importation of books was opposed by the 
authorities who believed them to be agents of sedittonr^ 
In 1797 the royal audiencia of Venezuela, reporting on tEe 
revolutionary fiasco of that year, noted as one of the 
causes, "the introduction of papers from the foreign islands 
and the old world in spite of the vigilance of the author- 
ities." But an interesting light is thrown on the quality 
of their vigilance or their intelligence by an anecdote con- 
cerning an importation of books into Chile, A set of such 
< pernicious writings as the works of the French Ency- 
clopedists was successfully passed through the customs by 
the simple expedient of affixing to the volumes theological 

The friction between Spain and her colonies had its 
roots in the disposition of the government to exploit the 
new world for the benefit both economically and a dmin-, 
■ istratively of t he old. The Spaniards assumed and main- 
tained a monopoly of the trade with the colonies. The 
latter were compelled to buy only Spanish goods or goods 
brought in Spanish ships. In the matter of administration 
immigrants direct from Spain were favore d over the chil- 
dren of the second generation who were known as creoles^- 

(criollos). In fact tfie latter were g enerally excluded fro m 
office holding. Spaniijh officiaTs^ere forbidde n to marry 
daughters of the cfeokr^ — If'sornetimes royal favor lifted^ 
the ban, the lucky couple were transferred to another dis- 
trict than that of the bride's residence. Political disabil- 
ities had quite as much influence in preparing the colonia l 
mind for revolt as the economic restrictions. 


The form t)f tjovcriimtnt wliicli the rcbcMious colonies 
set up was that of a democracy. Biit fundamentally their 
governments were oligarchic. A league o\ taniilies m each 
countr)' maintained in varying degrees the colonial system 
in which the great body of the people had little part. The 
years of turmoil, not yet ended in some countries, which 

followed the separation from Spain denote the struggle 
of the crow^ t^ wTn its sharelrTthe government. 

The distress and confusion in Spain caused by the 
''Napoleonic invasion brought the colonials their opportu- 

nity. Th e condition of affairs was first made clear to 
America by the English attempt in 1806 to seize and hold 
' thejcity of Buenos Aires. On account of the relations be- 
tween France and Spain at that time, the captain general 
of the provinces of the river Plate was a Frenchman by 
the name of Jacques de Liniers. Though the English 
landed a body of troops under General William Beresford, 
and occupied the city, Liniers organized a large volunteer 
force which, ably seconding his few regular soldiers, suc- 
ceeded in compelling the surrender of the invaders. The 
next year another English expeditionary army under 
General Whitelock met a similar fate after severe figjhting 
in the streets of the city. ,,r^ '^^ 

This successful defense of Buenos Aire? had a remark- 
able effect on the minds of the citizens. In the first place 

it made tTiem conscious of their collective strength. In 

the second place the innumerable ballad5-an4-V£j:5es;which 
appeared Tn 'print extolling their deeds of valor filled 
their spirits with truculence and their imaginations with 
visions of glory. When the occasion offered in iSio they 
were ready'to see tnem realized in a hght against Spairu 


The title "poet of the English invasions" has been con- 
ferred on Pantaleon kivarola (Yf^^-'iiiii). But~ the 
ppetic worth ot his compositions like those of Jose Prego 
de Uliver, l^ray Cayetano Rodriguez, and many othe r 
balladists, is slight. Rivarola's longest effort, Romance 

heroico de la Reconquista, was written for recitation to the 
accompaniment of the guitar, but it was a very prosaic 
detailed account of the fighting. Greater artistic merit 
may be claimed for the Triunfo Argentina of Vicente L5pez 

y Planes (i 784-1 856) who served as captain in a famous 
company called "Los Patricios." This ballad~has vigor 
of movement and at times almost epic interest. Lopez' 
, celebrity rests however on his national hymn adopted as 
such by the national assembly in 1813. 

Ihe part played by the volunteers from Montevideo 
in retaking Buenos Aires from the English was set forth 
in an allegorical drama, La Lealtad 7nas acendrada y 
Buenos Aires vengada, by Juan Francisco Martinez, a 
native of Uruguay. The two cities are represented as 
nymphs dwelling in a forest. Montevideo, inspired and 
protected by Mars, undertakes the rescue of Buenos Aires 
from Neptune, the protector of the English. 

For his part in the defense of Buenos Aires, Liniers was 
appointed viceroy. When Napoleon Bonaparte's brother 
Joseph became king ot bpain, 1808, a revolt against the 
French broke out with violenceTn alt Spam. Fhe na- 
tionalist party wished to restore Ferdinand VII to power. 
In America riots occurred in the principal capitals and 
a "junta" or committee of citizens attempt ed to take over 
the powers of government "in the name of Ferdinand 
VIL" These juntas were patterned after the central I 

-. \- 




junta of Scvilla which was managing the rcbclhun in 
Spain. Consequently when^t fell to pieces in 1810 the 

American w .n It Tr as it were hanging Tn the air. 

In Buenos Aires the situation was met hy the~gTn 

an armed assembly. Liniers had been superseded as vice- 
roy ^y^BaTtasar^FX'isneros and a party in the assembly 
wished to make him president. This movement was de- 
feated, and Cisneros withdrew to Montevideo. Henceforth 
the assembly ruled. The date of its first meeting, May 25th, 
has since been regarded as the Argentine national holiday. 
One of the assembly's first acts, June 7th, iSio, was the 
establisnment of a semiweekly official journal, La Gaceta 
de Buenos Aires. The director of this organ was also the 
secretary of the junta, Mariano Moreno (1778-1811). 
To the projects of this ardent democrat and the articles by 
which he urged them, the cause of the revolution in 
Argentina was greatly indebted. He brought about the 
establishment of the national library for which J. B. 
Maziel's books formed a nucleus. In the name also of 
liberty of thought he effected the establishment of a school 
of mathematics partly for training officers for the army. 
Finally as the Argentine people were preparing for na- 
tiohal defense, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to 
England with full powers to conclude any international 
arrangement. But his feeb le health broke down en route 
and he died at sea. 

Preparation for the armed defense of Buenos Aires was 
largely entrusted to Manuel Belgrano (1770-1820). Rally- 
ing the young men under the colors sky-blue and white, 
now those of the Argentine flag, he made ready to meet 
the Spanish army advancing from Upper Peru. At the 


same time there was danger from the forces in Montevideo 
though the gaucho leader Artigas was besieging the city 
on the landward side assisted at sea by a daredevil Irish- 
man, William Brown, in command of a few poor ships. 
Belgrano advanced to Tucuman, about eight hundred 
miles northwest of Buenos Aires. He had collected a 
goodly body of gauchos who on the day of the fight broke 
the strength of the Spanish army. Occurring in Septem- 
ber, 1812, this battle resulted in such a victory that Buenos 
Aires was never again seriously threatened by a Spanish 
army. Belgrano proceeded toward Upper Peru but a 
year later was caught at a disadvantage and completely 
defeated in October of 1813. On his return to the city he 
was sent to Spain to try to arrange a settlement on the 
basis of autonomy for Argentina, but the Spanish govern- 
ment rejected his suggestions. On July 9th, 1816, a 
congress of the Argentine provinces in session at i'ucuman 
formally declared themseK'es in dependent of Spain. B el- 
grano's services have nev er been forgotten by the Arg en-_ 
tines. And a young poet, Juan C. Lafinur, who left the 

university to enlist in Belgrano's army, won fame for _ 
himself by certain elegies which he wr ote at the time of ^ 
the leader's death . 

The student of the revolution m ust not forget thag^ 
everywhere existe d^ active pa rtisans o f Spanish interes ts. 
These loyalists had to be persuaded either by force or by 
rhetoric to join the revolution^ To som e the appeal w as 
made through the press; to others by speeches in public 
meetings, by verses and patriotic songs. In Buenos 
Aires the poets vied with each other m writing a national 
anthem. Esteban de Luca, t ray Cayetano Rodriguez 



and \ iccnto Lopez y IMaius, each produced one which 
for a season enjoyed popularity. But in 18 13 the national 
congress of which Lopez y Planes was a member, decreed 
that his "Martha patriot ica should be sunp at all official 
festivals and that at dawn of the anniversaries of the 25th 
of May, the school children should meet in the public 
town square to salute the rising sun with the national 
anthem. " 

Beginning with the clarion call, 

Old, mortales, el grito sagrado, 
Libertad, libertad, libertad! 

the song sought to arouse hatre d of the oppressor and 
especially of certain leaders of the Spanish army, who, 
havmg been ^rn in America, were called "vile." "^rh^ 
several strophes were packed with allusions to recent 
events^ In this close touch with reality the Argentine 
national anthem differed from those of other countries 
largely compostd of abstract c ommonplace s! Certain 
phrases, such as "a new and glorious nation," "a lion 
bowed at her feet," and thq term "argentine" recurring 
several times, caught the popular fancy. People had 
printed on their visiting cards designs to represent these 
notions. Its expressions of hatred for Spaniards were so 
ferocious that late in the nineteenth century, after futile 
ertorts to substitute a milder hymn, the president o\ the 
republic decreed that only the hrst and last quatrains 
and the chorus which were free of offense should be sung 
at public celebrations. Its author, Lopez y Planes, at- 
t alncd political prominence and la te \n life 
provisional president of Argentina. 


The fierce hatred of the rebelling colonials has always 
been resented by Spaniards as unjiist. 1 hey have speciaTTy 
ridiculed the colonial tendency to identity their own cause 
with that of the aborigines. Plow c^iT" the descendants " 
~bf SpantslTcon'quistadores refer to themselves, even in 
outbursts of patriotic song, as sons of the Inca ? Though 
there is much sense in the Spanish point of view, yet the 
power of the appe al is evid ent. So thorough a student 
of Spanish-American history as Clements R. Markham, 
referring to the uprising of the Indians of Peru in 1780, 
says, — "From the cruel death of the last of the Incas 
may be dated the rise of that feeling which ended in the 
expulsion of the Spaniard[s^ from Sout h America." 

This historical event is known as the rebellion of Tupac 
Amaru. It will be remembered that after the Spaniards "" 

had thoroughly established their power in Peru, they 
made some slight provision Ior~the welfare of the natives. 
A school, tlieCoTegio de San Borja, for the Chrtstian 
education of their young princes was opened in Cuzco. 
But the claimants to the throne of the Incas were cruelly 
treated. 1171571 the viceroy, Francisco de Toledo, second 
son of the Marques de Oropesa, with the idea of stifling 
any future attempt on the part of the natives to rally s 

around the person of an Inca, put to death on slight pre- 
text the eighteen-year-old boy, Tupac Amaru, then t ti&. 
acknowledged head of the royal house. -But one of the 
viceroy's own relatives married an Inca princessT A3e- 
scendant of theirs in 1770, who had been educated in the- ^ 
Colegio de^an Borja, successfully prosecuted his claim, - 
to'The nva«jttts»tc-of Oropesa~befbre the royaf audiencia 
, of lU m a, which atThe^same time recognized him as the 


httli in lineal descent from tlie I nea 1 upac Ama ru. Join- 

ing the prestige of this name which he assumed to that of 
his Spanish title, the new Inca set to work to bring about 
better conditions for the Indian population in Peru, 
Having exhausted duruig ten years of effort all legal means 
to attain his object, heTtirred up t he Indians to armed 
resistance. Their temporarily successful revolt soon met 
with defeat at the hands of the Spanish army. Not only 

was the Inca captured and cruelly executed but Indians 
everywhere were relentlessly hunted down. Including 
their reprisals on isolated white settlers and their own 
slaughter, no less than 8o,ocx) people are said to have 

The otor>' of this dreadful affair was undoubtedly used 
for political effect during the colonial struggle against 
Spain. An Argentine historian, Gregorio Funes (1749- 
1829) was the first to write a detailed account including 
it in his Ensayo de la Historia civil de Buenos Aires, Tucu- 
mdn y Paraguay. The three volumes of this history 
published in 18 16 and 1817 must be recognized as a schol- 
ar's effort to assist the revolutionary propaganda. Like 
Tacitus whom he took for a model Funes emphasized the 
errors of the government and the crimes of its agents. 
His story of the period p recedin g the re Yolution^is brought 
,/to a climax with the rebellion of Tupac Amaru. 

FrTthe dedication, "A la Patria," Funes says: "The 
day was to arrive at last when the love of country would 
not be a crime. Under the old regime thought was a slave 
and the soul of the citizen did not belong to him. The 
scene was changed. We are now free men. The country 
demands its rights now from the beings it protects. . . . 


As for me I dedicate to it the insipid fruit of this histor- 
ical essay. At least it has the advantage of calling its 
ravagers to judgment. . . . Moreover the tyranny and 
the actions of those who have governed us will serve as 
documents to enable us to discriminate between the good 
and the bad and to choose the best." 

Funes wa s born in the town of Cordoba, where is located 
the third oldest university in America. Besides attending 
its courses he was educated in Spain. Before his return 
to America, Carlos III appointed him a canon in the 
cathedral of Cordoba, of which he later became dean. 
Residing in his native town in 1810, he was one of the 
first to adopt the principles of the revolution. His fellow 
townsmen sent him to represent them in the first national 
assembly held in Buenos Aires. For a short time after 
the retirement of Mariano Moreno, Funes was editor of" 
the Gaceta. 


It was then that the idea occurred to him of writing 
his history. Despite its political purpose the work merits 

serious consideration as a history of the colonial period 
of the Argentine provinces. Its vigorous well-writteii ' 
prose makes it a worthy first of the long series of histories 
which form a leading characteristic of Argentine literature 
in the nineteenth century. 

The Gaceta continued to be the chief means of voicing 
revolutionary aspirations, referred to collectively as the 
"dogma de Mayo." After Funes' brief editorship, its 
columns fulminated with the writings of Bernardo""^^ 

Monteagudo (?— 1825), one of t fiie extraordinary per son- 
alities of the revolution in Spanish America. Of brilliant 
mind though of humble birth he was so vehement a revolu-v^ 

rni: rkvolutionarv period 49 

tionist that he had hitn condeiiined to death and t'scapcd 

the penalty five tinus hefore I Si 2. His articles in the 
Gaceta preached alisolute social etiualiry and the rights 
of man. To further his ideas he founded the "Sociedad 
I'atriotica." But his doctrines were not pleasing to the 

so-called t riumvirate which ruled the city, so t hey put a 
stop to the publication of the Gaceta. Monteagudo per- 
sisted In Ills utterances by starting a periodical of his 
ownr^^ Martir o librc, in which his expressions were even 
more violently extreme in favor of the "dogma de Mayo." 
Finally he was driven from Buenos Aires. During the 
years of the armed struggle he took part in the military 
operations m Lhile. By 1821 he was in Peru in charge 
of the department of war. Again his writings preached 
liberty. Again he founded a Sociedad Patriotica to move 
a people sluggish to adopt revolutionary principles. After 
the final success of the revolution, Monteagudo died in 
Lirria by an unknown assassin's hand. His writings con- 
sisting of articles and fiery speeches have been collected. 
His Memorias give interesting details of his unusual 
career, and a vivid picture of the times. 

Contemporaneous with affairs in Argentina similar 

events were talcing place in Chile. T he interests of these 

neighboring countries have always Been closely connected. 

^Each has served a t some time as a refuge for the political 

exiles of the other. And as the exiles have either been 

journalists or have taken up jou rnalis m as a means of 
support, their literatures have exerted a reciprocal in- 

The example of Buenos Aires in assuming the preroga- 
tives of government m May, i8lO,~wa s foITowed in Chile 


by the establishment of a similar junta to govern in the 
name of Fernando VII.. The date ot its proclam ation, 
September i8th, has since been considered the national 
holiday of Chile. The military situation was ^ected~by 
threFlsfofliers Ey the name of Carrera, who corrupted the 
troops in garrison at Concepcion. The first congress 
assembled in iSii. In April of that year occurred a 
royalist insurrection in Santi ago. During the st reet 
fighting there appeared, encoura ging the colonial soldiers, 
a friarTCamilo Henriquez (1769-1825), who was destined 
to be the most prominent person to support the war on the 
mtellectual side. In the fight he was doubly conspicuous 
■ b5r~feason of his garb unknown in Chile, a black gown 
decorated with a red cross on the left side of the breast. 
Though born a Chilean he had been sent to Peru to b e 
educated by the friars of La Buena Muerte, an ^rder 
which he entere d. His militant action of April, Hen riq uez 
justified in a sermon on the a nniversary of North Am erican 
independence, July 4th, 181 1. 


This sermon was such an able argument in favor of the 
revolution that even in Duenus Aire s - ii was u ideie d 
printed for distribution. The mental attitude of such a 

large portion of the better^'eTernentii of the people, espe= — 
ciaily of the clergy, was so opposed to the revolution that 
Henriquez' determined stand in favor of it possessed great 
importance. AsThe intellectual champion of his party he 
was made the"editor ot the periodical, the Aurora de (j/iile^'' 
established as its organ! 1 he first number appea re^~oh 
February 13th, 1812. On July 4th, Henriquez uttered 
from its columns the first cry for independence in these 


"Let us bigin in C'luli- l\v ilftlaiing our independence. 
That alone can blot out the name of iiluis which tyranny 
gives us. That alone can raise us to the dignity which 
belongs to us, give us alliances among the powers and 
impose respect on our enemies: and if we treat with them, 
it will be with the majesty proper to a nation. Let us take 
in short this indispensable step. Uncertainty causes our 
weakness and exposes us to disorders and dangers." 

On the same date at a dinner given by the consul of the 
United States, Henriquez read one of the first of his com- 
positions in verse, a Ilimno patridtico. From that time he 
endeavored to persuade by similar means, celebrating each 
victory over the Spanish arms by appropriate verses. In 

this he w as joined by a man of som e what greater literary 
ability, Bernardo de \'era y Pintado (1780-1827). To- 

gether on the occasion of the public rejoicin g at the victory 
of Jose Miguel Carrera over the first army sent to Chile 
■by the viceroy of Peru, Henriquez and De Vera, wearing 
I i be rt y caps, sang in duet one of thei r original composi- 


De Vera, an Argentine by birth, had come to Chile_iQ. 
attend the Uni versity of Chile and had remained th e re as a 
practicing lawyer. At the very beginning of politica l 
unrest he had sprung into public notice because, previous 
to the establishment of the jurita, he had been seizedT)y 
the authorities and ordered for trial to Lima on a vessel 

waiting for him In the harbor of Valparaiso. Before his 
deportation, however, the revolutionary junta was estab- 
lished in Santiago. The mob assailed the prison where 
De Vera lay and releasing him escorted him in triumph 
through the streets. De Vera was then appointed secre * 


tary of the junta. He was ass ocia ted also with Henriquez 
in the editing of the Aurora de Chile . Throughout his 
life he continued to be politically prominent. His most 
important literary work was the n ational hymn of Chi le 
which he wrote in 1819. The first quatrain, expressing the 
idea that Chile would be either the tomb of the free or a 
refuge against oppression, was used as a refrain after each 
stanza. In 1847 it was felt that the sentiments of this 
hymn were too extreme and another national hymn was 
adopted in its place, though De Vera's hymn may still be 
heard at patriotic celebrations. 

Toward the end of 18 13 the military situation began to 
look black for the revolutionaries. Belgrano's Argentine 
army had been annihilated in upper Peru. A second 
Spanish army sent from Lima completely worsted the 
Chileans under Bernardo O'Higgins and Carrera at 
Rancagua on October 12th, 1814. A harsh period for 
patriots followed this reconquest of Chile. Those who 
escaped with their lives took refuge in Argentina. Henri- 
quez went to Buenos Aires where he took a prominent part 
in a literary movement along dramatic lines which was 

going on there. O'Higgins and others joined a new 
patriot army then drilling beyond the Andes. 

This army was the creatio n of Jose de San M artin 
( 1 778-1 850). To his genius and hard work South America 
"owes its mdependence. The son of a captain in the Spanish 
army stationed in Argentina, Jose had been taken to 
Spain at the age of eight for a military education. In the 
Spanish war for liberation from the domination of the 
French, he distinguished himself at the battle of Bailen 
and won the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 181 2 he was 



induced by Carlos dc Alvcar, likewise of Argentine birth 
but belonging to a wealthy family of Buenos Aires, to 
accompany him to the land of his birth. On their arrival 
both assumed positions of prominence. San Martin was 
given command of a regiment of cavalry which speedily 
showed its mettle by beating a Spanish detachment. After 

Belgrano's defeat San Martin was put in geneial command 

of the Argentine army. He established a camp at Mendoza" 
on the Argentine side of the Andes in September, 18 14. 
Wjthout confiding to anybody his ultimate purpose Tie" 
succeeded m two years ir T col l ecting an army of four 
thousand men thoroughly equipped with arms, provisions 

' and means of transport. 

Larly m 1817, this army began its passage of the Andes, 
a military feat which surpasses any similar thing m history. 
Napoleon's crossing of the Great St. Bernard is renowned; 
but this pass has an altitude of 7963 feet whereas that of 
the Andes lies at I2,7CX) feet above the sea with a steep 
descent of 10,000 feet to the plains of Chile. At such a 
height both man and beast suffer from the terrible moun- 
tain sickness to which many succumb. The Spanish 
forces in Chile were awaiting San Martin's army but by 
means of false reports he succeeded so well in keeping them 
in ignorance of his intended way of approach that his 
men were clear of the loftier mountains before the first 
clash of arms. The main battle occurred on February 12th, 
181 7, at the passTirClTacaFuco] O'Higgins in command of 
tlie Chilean contingent carried out a flanking movement so 
that the result of the battle was the complete destruction 
of the Spanish army. Within forty-eight hours San Martin 
RaJ entered Santiago. The dictatorship of the country, 


which was offered him, was finally conferred on O'Higgins. 

And the absolute inHe pendence ot L'hile trom Spain was 

The next year the Spaniards made a supreme effort to 
regain Chile! An army of veterans was sent from Lima." 
At the first contact with the patriots at Cancha Rayada 
they were victorious. But San Martin rallied the fugitives 
on his reserves. Op April i;th, 1818, was f ought the battle 
of Maipu which terminated Spanish power in Chile. 
ySan Martin saw, however, the danger threatening Amer- 

^ ican independence so long as the viceroy at Lima remained 
in authority. Moreover tlie ting of Spain was collectmg a 
vast army at Cadiz for an attack on tJuenos Aires. After "^ 1 
the Argentine declaration of independence at Tucuman in •* 
1816, the administrative control of the countr}^ had been ^ y 
.largely in the hands of Juan Martin de Pueyrredon, but 

/ civil war had~broken ou t and was paralyzing the count ry. 
Nevertheless San Martin set to work to provide a navy and | , 

"transport ships for the purpose of assailing the viceroy in '| 

Periir In this~eHort he found invaluable assistance in 
Lord Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald, an officer with 
a brilliant record in the English navy but temporarily in 
disgrace with the admiralty. Lord Cochrane's fleet set 
sail with the combined Chilean and Argentine army on 
August 2ist, 1820. His first exploit was a surprise attack 
with small boats on the largest Spanish vessel, the forty- 
four gun frigate, "Esmeralda." His boarding party cut 
her out at night from beneath the very guns of the forts 
at Callao and added her to his own fleet. The army was 
landed from the transports and, with but little fighting 
because the Spaniards withdrew into the mountains. 



entered I.inia. M.utin organizcil a civil government 
and thTTnHependence brPeru was procTatnTgd-efr^^ivL ^th." 
1 821. 

The Spanish army under the viceroy Jose de la Serna, 
some twenty thousa nd men, had not however been dTs-~~~ 
posed of but was still capable of vigorous resistance. The 
honor of accomplishing its destruction was reserved for one 
whose name Ts even more famous in South American 
annaTs, the LiberatorTISImoiv Bolivar'. B ut before dis- 
cussing his military career it will be advisable to consider 
the echoes in literature of these stirring events. 

The only Peruvian poet whose name was connected 
with the revolution was Mariano Melgar (i79i-i§T5^T~ 
and^lie was not of Lima but of the provincial capital 
ArequTpa. He was a teacber oF mathematics In the local 
university and joined the corps of artillery among other 
Spaniards who associated themselves with an uprising 
of the Indian population under the cacique Pumacagua 
in 1813. General Ramirez operating under the orders of 
General Joaquin de la Pezuela, at that time facing^ Bel- 
grano's army, overcame the ill-organized patriot army 
at the field of Humachiri. Pumacagua was hanged and 
the white officers including Melgar were shot. After the 
poet's death his papers were entrusted by his sister to a 
priest who piously destroyed the poems which he thought 
of seditious character! One of Melgar's political poems 
somehow preserved shows the vigor of the young man's 
mind. The lines depict the colossus ot despotism falling 
beneath the blows of liberty to the amazement of man- 
kind! His non-political poems reveal the delicacy of feel- 
ing of a real poet. They are mainly imitations of popular 


poetry described by the native word "yaravi, " a sort of 
plaintive love song not dissimilar in form from the Spanish 
ietnila. Many later poets have tried their hanH^atrrmting 
"yaravies." In honor of their patriot poet the citizens 
of Arequipa celebrated the centenary of his birth by erect- 
ing a statue of him in the public square. 

In Lima the revolution found but few sympathizers. 
Consequently the literature shows rather the loyalist" 
I phase of the situation. The University of San MarcoF 
FoF example published the poems and speeches delivered 
upon the occasion of General Pezuela's accession to the 
viceroyalty in 1816. The victories of the Spanish troops 
at Rancagua and in Argentina over Belgrano had their 
panegyrists. But life in Lima flowed on with all its colo- 
nial nonchalance so that the most characteristic literary 


productions were the festive verses of an easy-gomg pnest, 

Jose Joaquin de Larriva (1780-1832), and his burlesque 
epic, La Angulada. WTtF equal facility he could preach 

a sermon in praise of Pezuela in 1816 and eulogize Bolivar 
in 1826. Other versifiers too there were who maintained 
the traditional Peruvian love of jeSt. 

The serious business of the revolution on the other hand 
continued to occupy all minds in Buenos Aires. A pro- 
lific versiher ot political events was Fray Cayetano Rod- 
"nguez'Xi 7^-1 823). His lines, though badly written, at 
times incafnate^lie spirit of thlH-evol ution of May . Two 
sonnets of his, Al 25 d7 Mayo, and a national hymn re- 
tained for a long time their popularity because they ex- 
pressed a warm enthusiasm for liberty and a love of coun- 
try. He was one of the first to improvise on the victory of 
Chacabuco when the news of it reached the city. 


But the poet of greatest merit t o follow in his verses 
the course ot war w as Esteban de Luca (17H6-1824). 
His odes A Chacabuco, ~At Tnunfo del Fice Almirante 
Lord Cochrane, Canto Lirico a la Libertad de LimOy all 
brought him praise. The last was especially rewarded 
by a gift of books presented by the government. Some- 
what different was his Al Pueblo de Buenos Aires, in which 
he exhorted the citizens to leave the town and devote their 
time to agriculture and the raising of cattle and horses. 
Beside being a poet Luca was an e xpert mathematician 
and metallurgist. As such he served his country in direct- 
ing the cannon foundry which provided Argentina with 
artiller>'. He lost his life in a shipwreck i n the Rio de 
la Plata. TTiTs circumstance is commemorated by the 

greatest of Argentine poets, Andrade, in his Arpa per- 
dida, of which tKe last stanza feigns that travelers 
may hear on quiet nights the sound of the forgotten 
poet's lyre. 

The practice of writing patri otic poems was fost ered 
by the custom pre vailing in Buenos Aires of reciting them 
at evening parties. Two collections were printed, La 
Lira argentina, 1821, and Poesias patribticas, 1822, the 
second by order of the government. The first includes 
compositions written during the English invasion, un- 
fortunately without names of the authors. More useful 
to the student of literature is a collection printed in the 
Revista de Derecho, Ilistoria y Letras, in 1898 and the 
following years with the title Cancionero popular. A 
characteristic of style, common to all the poems, a sup- 
posed embellishment but to modem taste a grave dis- 
figurement, is the introduction of classical allusions or a 


mythological machinery, Greek gods in South America, 
a last sigh of Gongorism. 


The mythological machinery was even more in evidence 
in plays ot the period. The desire tor dramatic enter^ 
tainment excited by the recitation of patriotic verses was 
satisfi ed by the organization o f a" society , "LaH Sociedad 
del Buen Gusto," for the purpose of fostering the drama. 
The first meeting was held in July, 1817. Among the 
twenty-eight members were Lopez y Planes, De Luca, 
and the Chilean refugee Camilo Henriquez. Colonel Juan 
Ramon Rojas was the managing director. The plays 
produced were either originals by the members of the 
society or translations from French or English because 
the director pushed his patriotism to the extreme of re- 
fusing to admit to the stage plays written by Spaniards. 
Rojas himself wrote the first drama given, Cornelia Beror- 
quia, a tragedy of a young innocent girl condemned by 
the full tribunal of the inquisition. The scandal in Buenos 
Aires was tremendous. One lady who attended when 
asked about the play, said, — "To-night we cannot doubt 
that San Martin has passed the Andes and triumphed 
over the Spaniards in Chile." 

Camilo Henriquez contributed his Camila la patriota 
de Suid America. As this play was printed in a little vDi*--^ 
ume, now a bibliographical rarity, it i s possible to le arn 
muchTatout the sentiments and ideas of the period. THe"^ 

action of the drama takes place on the banks of the river 
Maranon a few months after the slaughter of the patriots 
of Quito. A family has fallen into the hands of an Indian 
chief who declares that the daughter Camila must become 
the bride of his prime minister. Camila objects because 


she holds dear the memory of her husl>.ind Diego, one 
of the patriots fallen as she supposes by the hand of Span- 
ish murderers. The cacique insists on the marriage. 
When the so-called prime minister is presented, the whole 
aftair proves to be a huge joke for the prime minister is 
no other than Diego. The chief purpose of the drama is 
to serve as a vehicle for Henriquez* ideas on education | 
and tolerance in religion. He praises the Lancaster method 
of instruction as obviously advantageous. He lauds the 
industry and righteousness of the Quakers though "the 
burners hate them and would like to bum them all; per- 
verse men have made the king of Spain believe that the 
burners are the pillars of his throne." A paper which 
the cacique hands his prime minister contains Henriquez' 
own program for the w^elfare of South America. "First: 
to remedy the depopulation of America and its backward 
condition in arts and agriculture, it is necessary to attract 
immigration by impartial, tolerant and paternal laws. 
Second: if America does not forget its Spanish prejudices 
and adopt more liberal principles, it will never escape 
from the rule of a Spain beyond the seas, wretched and 
obscure as European Spain." 

Henriquez' tolerant religious principles were to bring 

him tTie wrath of the clerical party after his return to 
ChUe^ When his friends Bernardo O'Higgins and De 
Vera became influential, the one dictator, the other his 
secretary, tliey started a movement to invite Henriquez 
to Chile raising funds fo r his repatriation by popular 
Subscription^ There came with him Juan Crisostomo 
Lafinur (i 797- 1 S24) who had been an intimate friend and 
acquaintance of his in Buenos Aires. Together they 


immediately began in the press the propaganda of their 
liberal ideas. -iJut their attempts at retorm came to 
naught tor fhey met violent opp osition from the clergy. 
The latter were fortuitously assisted by a disastrous 
earthquake, called by them an act of God, a demon- 
stration of His anger at the impiety of the men encouraged 
by the dictator O'Higgins. 

Lafinur died during the struggle as the result of a fall 
from his horse. He has a place in the history of Argentine 
literature by reason of his elegies on General Belgrano at 
the time of the latter's death in 1820. Though other 
specimens of his verse exist the three elegies so exalt the 
love of country that they keep alive the author's name. 

Conditions in Buenos Aires about 1820 have been 
disclosed from a unique point of view in the dialogues of 
Tnfreras written by BartolomeTIidalgo (1787-?). 


Jacinto Chano, the overseer of a cattle ranch, converses 
with his friend the gaucho Ramon Contreras. The latter 
reviews somewhat pessimistically the advantages gained 
by the revolution. The poor still remain poor, though a 
few men in power are able to "spend money like rice." 
Chano says he has learned that before the law, he is the 
equal of any man. "Yes," replies Contreras, "but there 
are difficulties in the practice," and relates the contrast 
in the punishment of a rich man guilty of a notorious 
crime and that of a poor gaucho who for some trivial 
offense received the limit of the law. The ironical vein 
maintained in the description of certain civic events"i>* 

Hidalgo's poems were a written imitation of the type of 
improvisation popular throughout Argentin a. The cust om 


brought from Andalusia of ballad recitation hy an adept,. 
or "payador," who, lightly strumming his guitar, begins 
"to improvise in eight s\ H.ihKcl lines a narrative of some 
recent occurrence with original comments developed more 

widely on the pampas tha n elsewhere. T he first to 
imitate in writing this popular poetry was J. B. Maziel 
in a ballad praising the viceroy's military exploits. Be- 
fore Hidalgo it was used by Juan Gualberto Godoy 
(1 793-1 824) for political purposes. He kept a store 
far out on the plains where he is said to have sold verses 
to local payadores and published a paper El Eco de los 
Andes with satirical poems in gaucho style. But Godoy's 
work remained unknown till latar writers made the gaucho 

tj'pe of verse one of the most original and entertammg 

features of Argentme literature. 

Despite the importance of the victories won in the south 
by San Martin, the ultimate indeperidence or~t5otittT- 

America was due to the~assistance which came to hirrT 
from the north. In large measure was it due also to 
San Martin's noble-min de d and unselfish patriotisnTTTa re 
in Spanish- American annals, which prompted him to self- 
ettacement when that seemed the best course. Wh en only 
his own withdrawal from the scene of active operations 
would assure the participation of Bolivar and his troops 
in destroying the Spanish army under the viceroy La 
bema, the generous San Martin stood aside and even 
exiled himself from America. 

Simon Bolivar (17S3-1830) was the greatest military 
arid pohti cal genius which the revolution "Tn Spanish 
America produced. Though a wealthy landowner, he 
made common cause with the uprising in Caracas, V'cnc- 



zuela, in April, 18 10. Bolivar, Luis Lopez Mendez, and 
Andres Bello were despatched as commissioners to se- 
cure the sympathy and material aid of Great Britain. 
Bolivar's stay was short for he returned to Venezuela to 
serve in the army of General Miranda which was de- 
fending the country from the Spanish forces. The latter 
were successful in putting down the rebellion. Bolivar 
fled while Miranda was taken prisoner and sent to Spain. 
Bolivar then organized another army in Nueva Granada 
and fought his way to Caracas which he entered on Au- 
gust 4th, 1 813. The Spaniards, however, again won the 
upper hand. In the bloody guerilla warfare which fol- 
lowed, the patriots accomplished little for several years. 
In 1 8 19, however, a foreign legion of 2000 trained soldiers, 
mostly Irishmen, joined Bolivar. He learned that the 
Spanish soldiers in Bogota were to march to join those 
in Venezuela. By a brilliant manoeuvre, Bolivar led his 
men over the windswept lofty paramo and effected a 
union with the patriot army of Nueva Granada. He gave 
battle to th e Spa niards at Boyac a on August 7t h , 18 19, 
and destroyed their army. After his return to Venezuela 
Bolivar brought about the passage of a law by the revolu- 
tionary legislature erecting Venezuela andT^ueva Granada 
into the Republic of Colombia of which he was to be presi- 
dent i^ "Turning then his atten tion to the ^amshlorces re- 
maining in Venezuela, he broke them at the battle of 
Carabobo, June 24th, 1821. There now remained in South 
America only that^panish army which had retreated from 
Lima at the approach of San Martin's forces. 

liolivar marched south by way of Popayan. Successful 
in taking Quito in June, 1822, he added that province to 


his new Republic of Colombia. The next month there 
tiH)k pKiee in Cujayaciiiil a famous confirence Listing 
three clays between Bolivar and San Martin. I he details 
of this meeting have remained forever secret. But a 
letter written a month later by San Martin to Bolivar 
allows one to infer the reasons for San Martin's subse- 
quent conduct. In it he says, — "My determination is 
irrevocably fi.xed. I have called the first Congress of 
Peru for the 20th of next m onth, and on the day after 
Its opening I shall sail for Chile, convinced t hat my pres- 
ence is the only obstacle which prevent s your coming t o 
rPeru with the army under your command." San Martin 
evidently foresaw a civil war unless h e gave way befo Fe 
Bolivar's immense personal ambition. 

For two years the Spanish army avoided contact. On 
August 26th, 1824, Bolivar won the great victory of 
Junin. But the final surrender of the Spaniards was not 
made till December 7th, after the battle of Ayacucho, 

where the patnot army was commanded b y An tonio 

Jose de Sucre (i 793- 1 830). The next summ er a gene ral 

a ssembly of Upper Peru met and declared itself the Re- 
public of Bolivia. General Sucre was elected the first 

Bolivar's personal fortunes took him back to Caracas 
from which as his capital h e attempted to administer the 
Republic of Colombia. Its extent, however, was so vast 
and Its parts so diverse that after Bolivar^ s death, Sep-" 
tember 17th, 1830, it split up into the three republicsT" 

Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nueva Granada. The latter 
reassumed the same name Colombia in 1861 . ^ 

Just as Bolivar's greatest campaign against the Span- 


ia rds took place in Peru, so it wa s reserved for a nativa 
of a Peruvian province, now a part of Ec uad or, to com- _ 
pose the most remarkable poem written about his niiU^ 

tary success. So excellent is the classical finish of its style 
that the Spanish critic Menendez y Pelayo refers to Jose 
Joaquin Olmedo (1780^1847) as, *'one of the three or 
four great Spanish-American poets, if not the first." 

Bolivar requested Olmedio to write some verses in cele- 
bration ot the battles ot Junin and Ayacucho. I n the 
general's correspondence is found a long letter from 
Olmedo dated January 31st, 1825, in which the poet 
says: — "I regret that you recommend me to sing our 
last triumphs. For a long time I have been revolving 
that thought in my mind. Junin came and I began my 
song; I should say I began to form plans. . . . Ayacucho 
came and I awoke uttering a thunder, (Olmedo here al- 
ludes to the opening lines of his ode) but I have made 
little progress. Everything I produce seems poor and 
inferior to the subject, I erase, tear up, correct; and 
always it is bad. I have persuaded myself that my muse 
cannot measure her strength with this giant. I was 
proud because I expected to make a composition which 
would bear me with you to immortality but I confess 
myself downcast." 

Olmedo did win by his ode the immortality which he 
craved. Its opening peal of thunder, 

El trueno horrendo, que en fragor revienta 

Y sordo retumbando se dilata 

Por la inflamada esfera, 

Al Dlos anuncia que en el cielo impera, 

is an evident paraphrase of Horace's, 


Caclo tonantcm crcdidiinus lovcin rcf;narc: III, 5. 
Tlie poet then sees and describes the leaders as the battle 
begins. Suddenly the sword of liolivar appears and 
eclipses all the warriors as the sun lelipses all the stars. 
Darkness comes on before the victory is complete; while 
the soldiers are singing hymns of triumph, a voice calls 
from on high in the heavens, the voice of the Inca, 
Huaina-Capac. They behold his illuminated figure as he 
reveals his personality. After recapitulating the horrors 
that had occurred on American soil since the conquest, he 
discloses the progress of the next fight at Ayacucho, de- 
scribes the place of the battle and names the patriots who 
will distinguish themselves, especially the leader Sucre. 

In regard to him Olmedo wrote, "Sucre is a hero, is 
my friend and deserves an ode for himself; at present 
enough immortality will fall to his share by being named 
in an ode dedicated to Bolivar." 

The Inca continues by praising the new era of peace 
and prosperity that stands before, but urges on the Amer- 
icans the ni^ces slty of union "in order to be free and neve r 
conquered." He is interrupted by the virgins of the sun 
who intone a hymn beseeching the continued protection 
of the sun as the ancient god of Peru. On the city of 
Lima the virgins make demand that she open her gates 
and receive Bolivar in triumph. At the close of the song 
the Inca and the virgins disappear behind a golden cloud. 

As Bolivar was not himself present at the final victory 
the poet was obliged to connect the two battles in a 
manner that would not lessen the importance of Bolivar. 
Yet the means chosen, the apparition of the Inca, has 
raised a veritable critics' battle. Bolivar himself called 


Huaina-Capac "the hero of the poem." Bello praises 
the poetical device, while Miguel A. Caro ridicules the 
words of the Inca who exclaims to the assembled patriots, 
"You are all my children," and his offer to Bolivar as a 
reward a place in heaven at his own right hand. But 
Manuel Caiiete sums up the criticisms justly. "We see. 
Olmedo rise to the clouds borne by inspiration and find 
accents, if not superior to all, not inferior to any of our 
best lyric poets, whenever he exclaims what has stirred 
his heart. But he falls when he leaves the luminous 
sphere of truth and sinks into the labyrinth of the arti- 
ficial. The reader, however, forgets the defects of the 
poem, thanks to the animation, the movement, the sublime 
inspiration with which the author has succeeded in ex- 
pressing and developing the idea." 

The Liberator was evidently satisfied with Olmedo's 
poem for he named him plenipotentiary of Peru in Londoh, 
for which city he left Guayaquil on August 5, 1825?" 
Cafiete thinks it is unjust to Olmedo to attribute his ap-^ 
pointment entirely to the poem, because Bolivar was a 

good judge of men and he needed a superior person for 
Iche mission7~ "" 

The next year Olmedo published the poem in London 
and Paris, with the title La Victoria de Juniuy Canto a 
Bolivar. In regard to it, Olmedo wrote to Bolivar: "The 
canto is being printed with great elegance. It bears 
the portrait of the hero; and a medallion reptesenting the 
apparition and oracle of the Inca in the clouds. The 
canto needs all these externals in order to appear decently 
among foreign peoples." It is interesting to note that the 
plates of the Paris edition are in color and that the por- 





trait of Bolivar wIiKh Oliiuilo ttrmLcl "iiKilianuini'ntc 
parecido" is the one which has Ueen most widely /cpro- 

Olmcdo's sojourn in Europe was divhfefl.Het\ 
don antfTarTs. Tie tlius came into close 
Andres Hello and Fernandez Madrid and 
"" ence with them has been preserved. TK6 forrr?er pub- 
Iished in the second volume of the Reperlorio AmericanOy 
Olmedo's poem, ./ un amigo en el naciimeyito de su primo- 
gentto, as well as a critical notice by jlimself on the ric- 
torxa de Junin. 

Olmedo did not, however, long remain in Europe. An 
intense love for his native province of Guayaquil charac- 
terized the man and greatly influenced the course of his 
life. As a student he lived in Lima where he obtained the 
degree of doctor of law. In iSio, he went to Spain to 
represent Guayaquil in the Cortes of Cadiz and was one 
of the members who refused to recognize Fernando VII 
until he swore to the constitution. Returning to his own 
country in 1814 he took an active part in political affairs 
and was elected to the Peruvian constitutional congress 
of 1S22 in which he advocateda separate establishment 
for the provinces now known as Ecuador. Therein he 
was an opponent of Bolivar, but the Liberator's great vic- 
tories turned him into an ardent admirer. Sent to Europe 
in 1^25, he returned in 1828. Ecuador became a separate 
republic in 1830 an d Olmedty^was elected its fir st vice- 
president, an office which he soon resigned in order to 

become prefect of Guayaquil as he desir ed to live in that 
c ity. He continued active in politics until his death in 


His poems are few in number for the reason that he 
wrote only when he felt inspired and took great care in 
iriishT Amuhategui enumerates four 

translations and ten original compositions. Of the former 
the most important is a rendering of the first three epistles 
of Pope's Essay on Man. His first original poem is a 
Silva a la muerte de Maria Antonia de Borbon, princes a 
de Asturias, published in Lima, 1807. The poet repre- 
sents the innocent princess as an expiatory victim chosen 
by God who is angry at the sins of the Spaniards. As 
God accepts the sacrifice, the poet urges his avenging 
angel to announce that God's wrath has been appeased 
and that the English who were preparing to attack Buenos 
Aires would be overthrown. As a note to this composi- 
tion, Olmedo wrote: "Two months after this composi- 
tion was written, ten thousand English attack the city 
of Buenos Aires and are beaten and obliged to surrender 
by its inhabitants." 

His poem Mi retrato, 181 7, gives us the portrait of a 
tall thin man with brown hair and eyes, a broad forehead, 
a large nose of which he is proud because therein he re- 
sembles the poets Virgil, Homer and Ovid, fine even teeth, 
a thin beard and a face much pitted from small-pox like 
the sky with the stars. His acquaintances describe him 
as agreeable in character with a large fund of knowledge 
which Olmedo himself ascribed to his own eflForts rather 
than to his schooling. 

The grandiloquent rhetoric of the Victoria de Junin 
was repeated in a poem which Olmedo composed in 1835 
to General Flores, Vencedor en Minarica. As sheer rhetoric 
there are passages which are very fine, for example, the 



spirited description of the General's horse. As the sub- 
ject of th»- poem is the victory of a partisan chief, the 
lines often strike the reader as bombast, especially when 
the poet urges the lofty peak of Chimborazo, king of the 
Andes, to bow his head because the victor passes. 

Juan Jose Flores (1801-64) was not to be outdone in 
compliments. He also dabbled in verse-making and be- 
gins his Ocios poi'ticos with the line, 

i Que vida tan feliz, Omero mio! 

He stars Omero and explains in a footnote: "Allusion to 
Olmedo, wherefore the H is suppressed." 

Another poet to hail Bolivar's victories as worthy of 
great renown was the Col ombian Jose Fernandez Madrid 
(1784-1830), already referred to as one of Olmedo's 
friends in Europe. Some suspect that Fernandez Madrid 
also owed his appointment as Colombia's minister plen- 
ipotentiary in London to his laudatory verses in which 
within the space of ten lines he compared Bolivar to all 
the great men of antiquity. In another passage the 
Peruvian Incas, raising their heads from the tomb, joy- 
fully salute three times the great champion, while the 
volcanoes Pichincha and Chimborazo roar with indigna- 
tion at the oppressors of America. Such hyperbolical 
exaggeration reveals the spirit of the times. 

Fernandez Madrid played an important role in the 
revolution m Colombia. A member oT the first revolu- 
tionary junta organized in Cartagena de las Indias, 1810, 
he became the leader ot the defense when t he city was_ 
besieged by the Spaniards. He was also a member of the 
united provinces of Venezuela and Nueva Granada and 


was named as their president in 1816 during t he low est 
eBB of their mihtary, fortunes. FalHng into the hands of 
the Spanish forces, he saved his Hfe by writing to the 
Spanish general Morillo that he had accepted the pres- 
idency only in the king's interest. He was ordered de- 
ported to Spain but, on account of illness, he never went 
beyond Havana, where he was soon set at liberty. After 
Bolivar's successful campaigns, Fernandez Madrid again 
became prominent in politics. As confidential agent of the 
rep ublic of Colombia he was in fans at the time of his 
appointment to be her minister in London. 

In this city he published a volume of his verses, 1828, 
and two dramas, Atala, based on Chateaubriand's romance 
of that name, and Guatimoc. These plays are specimens of 
the enthusiastic attempt at play writing which flourished 
in Bogota during the revolution. Fernandez Madrid, as 
a versifier on occasional topics, is fluent and amusing. 
"Hail, doubly hail, him who invented the hammock," 
he cries in the refrain to some stanzas in which he sings the 
advantages of that blessing to humanity. To his friend 
Andres Bello, he sends some playful lines to accompany a 
bottle of wine, "a dose of joy," at the baptism of the lat- 
ter's infant daughter. As a patriotic poet Fernandez 
Madrid obtains a certain forcefulness by the use of ep- 
igrammatic balance. He sees Colombia rise from her 
wounds, "majestic, full of wounds, but victorious; poor 
but avenged, and independent." Though he execrates the 
Spaniards for their crimes, yet tie recognizes th ern~ as * 
brothers in blood and urges a spiritual union between 
"the Hispanic lion and the American condor." "^^-^ 

^Two other Colombians who produced patriotic verses 


worthy of iiKiuion were Jose Maria dc Salazar (1785- 
1828)" and Luis Vargas Tcjada ^1802-29). Salazar 
first exercised his poctic^talcnts in El Placer publico de 
Santa Fe de Bogota, a complimentary poem to celebrate 
the arrival of the viceroy in 1S04. In his student days he 
was one of the first to write original pieces actually pro- 
duced on the stage in Bogota. His Soliloquio de Eneas 
and El Sacrificio de Idomeneo materially assisted in the 
movement to restore the theater in that capital. Joining 
the revolutionary movement he became conspicuous as 
the author of the first national hymn of Colombia. Boli- 
var's victory at Boyaca called forth some stirring lines 
from his pen, for which Bolivar later rewarded him by ap- 
pointment as the Colombian minister in Paris. 

Luis Vargas Tejada was called by his fellow country- 
men their Andre Chenier on account of the violence of his 
sentiments on liberty. These were expressed in tragedies 
written for the stage in Bogota and especially in the tragic 
monologues Caton en Utica and La Muerte de Pausanias. 
The youthful poet thought to turn his fanatic politics 
into action by joining a conspiracy to assassinate Bolivar. 
He escaped the fate of his fellow conspirators by hiding 
in a cave for fourteen months. As he died insane from this 
experience a tragic interest was added to his poetical work. 

Though Bolivar's exploits inspired so many patriotic 
lines, yet m his own country, Venezuela, there was little 

literary response to them. In fact conditions there were 

distinctly unfavorable to literary enterprise. Not only 
was the capital Caracas frequently the headqua rters of 
the Spanish army, but the war w as wag ed with absorbing 
and merciless bitterness throu ghout the countr y. Ven- 


ezuela was, however, the birthplace of the greatest_of all 
Spanish-American Hterary men, Andres Bello (1781-1865). 
but the scene of his activity during the revolution ary 
epoch was London, far from the strife of arms . 

Bello, from that viewpoint, was more largely interested 
in Spanish America as a whole. After the American re^ 
publics had been firmly established he was invited to Chile, 
where his influence on matters of education and literature 
became tremendous. It seems almost as if he led the lives 
of two different men. In London to the age of forty-eight 
he eked out a narrow existence, always studying as though 
at school. In Chile for thirty-five years more he poured 
forth his accumulated wisdom for the benefit of the sons of 
his adopted country. The first period of Bello's life em- 
braced the epoch of the separation of the Spanish colonies 
from Spain; the second their first efforts at the upbuilding 
of new nationalities. 

Largely self-taught, the course of Bello's life is fore- 
sKadowed by his youth. He was both a precocious child ^ 


and a constant reader. At the age o f eleven he sav ed his^ 
pennies to buy a cheap edition issued in parts of Calderon's 
plays. At school he distinguished himself in Lat in. jSe 
maHe there the acquaintance of friends who were to assist 
Kim in getting a start in life, especiallyt he younger sons of 
theTJstariz family, perso ns of wealth and culture. In their 
*Rome^wKere they had the habit of reading poems aloud 
after dinner, Bello found inspiration for his earliest verses, 
certain translations or paraphrases of Latin. Urged by his 
friends he undertook the study of both French and Eng- 
lish. For the latter language he used as a text-book, 
Locke's Essay on the Understanding. 

nil kKVOI.imONARY IM-RIOD -ji 

When he Lit school Luis Ustaii/ ohtaiiitil for him a 
poiTtTon in the government office as undersecretary. In 
1808 he was appointed irntiry. As it was his task to 
translate the PVench and Enj;lish letters, it fell to his h)t~ 
that same year to be the medium through which the news 
of the fall of Carlos IV became known in Venezuela. He 
also played a part in the^vents wTiich led to the uprising in 
Caracas onTSpril igtli, 18 10. As, in the otheF Spanish 

^colonies, there was "established a junta or committee to 
"gSvem ostensTBTy in the name of Fernando VII. Th e 
jun ta sent Bello as one of three commissioners, the other 
two were Luis Lopez Mendez and Simon Bolivar, to 
London for the purpose of obtaining assistance for the 
revolution, but they re ceived little encou ragement from 
the British cabinet. 
Jn Venezuela the revolution maintained itself until 

^^ere occurred on Marc TTzGth, 181 2, a severe earthq^uake 
on account of which many thousand persons in Caracas 

lost their lives. 1 he r oyalist party, assisted by the priests 
"^who sprea d the idea that this event w^as God's punishment 

for rebellion, successfully prosecuted a counter revolution 
~and restored Spanish rule. Bello was thus left stranded in 

London without money. Once even he came near being 

put m j:riti"or his personal debts. Bolivar, a man of means, 

left London to work o n his plans for the military accom- 
p^ishment oT independence for Venezuela. But Bello 
remained in London for nineteen years. 
^-Ht*^teft4^ atdcdliTni in finding mean^ of support. The 
Spanish laii^uaye being then fashionable in London, he 
obtained many private pupils. By 1814 he considered 
himself able to marry. His most influential friend at this 


period was Jose Blanco White, a former Spanish priest of 
Irish parentage, who had left his native Seville to settle in 
London. He introduced Bello to Mr. Hamilton, Secretary 
of State for India, to whose children he became tutor in 
1816. Among his English friends were the philosophers 
James Mill and Jeremy Bentham, and he is said to have 
been employed at one time to decipher the latter's man- 
uscript. From his intercourse with them, he may have ' 
derived some of the ideas that guided his scientific studies. 

During his sojourn in London, Bello was consta ntly 
studying. First he learned to read Greek from the boolcs' 
in the library of an English friend. His leisure time he 
spent in the library of the British Museum. As results 
of his study he published a modem Spanish rendering of 
the Poema del Cid with accompanying notes and a study ^ 

of the Cronique de Turpin. Both of these show original 
and sound critical thought. Next he made his version 
of Bemi's Orlando Innamorato; which Menendez y Pelayo 
terms the best translation in Spanish of any long Italian 
poem. Moreover, he was deeply interested in educational 
questions about which he published various discussions in 
the Repertorio Americano. This was Bello's contribution 
edited in company with the Colombian Garcia del Rio, to 
the various periodicals in Spanish which appeared in 
London during the revolutionary period. 

A periodical in Spanish, El Espahol, had been founded 
in Lohcfon by Blanco White and conducted by him from 
1810 to 1814. In 18 20 the Guatemalan, A. J. de Irisarri 
published a few numbers of El Censor Amer icano to 
which Bello cont ributed. On his own account Bello 
began, 1823, the Biblioteca Americana, which soon sus- 


pcndcd. Money to pay for such a publication even tliough 
well received in South America was slow and diffi cult to 

Undaunted, however, he launched, 1826, a qu arterly, El 
Rfpfriorio Americano and continued it for four numbers. 
The editor's puq)ose is set forth in the first volume. ^T^ 
years, lovers of American civilization have desired the 
publication of a periodical which would defend with the 
interest of their own cause the independence and liberty 

of the new states established in that new world upon the 
ruins of Spanish dominion." The contents^ the~period1^ 
cal were, however, but slightly political. They comprised 
encyclopedic information on such topics as literary criti- 
cism, the orthography of the Spanish language, agriculture, 
science and education. Original poems formed one of its 
a ttractive features and here were first published 1m edo's 
poem. E n d nacimiento de su primogenito and his transla- 
tion of Horace's Ode XIV. Lib I; Garcia Goyena's Canto 
a la Indfpendencia de Guatemala; and a few poems of the 
Mexican Navarrete. The opening pages of the first 
number contained Bello's own masterpiece, a Silva a la 
Agricultura de la Zona torrida. 

Bellci'had conceived the idea of a vast poem to be en- 
tme^ America. Of this he wrote its introduction, Alocu- 
cion a la Poesia, and the Silva just mentioned. The 
Tatter puts LTmTn the front rank of American poets and 
■ admits hirn even" iii the judgment "oTMenehdez y Pelayo^ 
to the category of those who have most artistically manip- 

ulated the Spanish language. In the former p oem, which 
first appeared in the Biblioteca Americana, Bello invites 
the muses to leave Europe where an artificial culture, 


based on the power of gold, reigns preeminent and where 
nature is supreme and bestows on each its own pecuHar 
beauty which the poet describes. In the silva t^ the 
Agricultura de la Zona torrida, Bello presents the varied 
beauty of the tropics, its color, its rich perfume, the rare 
products of its cultivated fields, bounded by distant snow- 
capped mountains, and finally urges the possessors of 
this paradise to enjoy it in peace and union. 

There is a certain resemblance between the two poems; 
the lists of plants and their epithets are almost identical, 
and an occasional line of the earlier is repeated in the 
later poem. Besides there are reminiscences of Virgil's 
Georgics. While Bello's poetry therein resembles other 
Spanish classicists, Menendez y Pelayo finds him the 
pus'S'essOFbf an originaT note "not to^^e^onfused with ^ny 
of his "Contemporaries. ... He is a consummate master 
of poetic dicfion, learnedly~picturesque, laboriously p&I- 

ished." His picturesqiie^driginality consists in app eals^to 
the senses when he speaks of the "snowy fleece of the 
cotton," "the white jasmins ot the coffee," "the living 
carmine of the flowers," epithets which seem to the critic^ 
to give a "strange flavor both Latin and American." 


Bello's diplomat ic activity continued during his entire 
sojourn in London. As a means of livelihood, however, 
its pecuniary return was uncertain even after the revolu- 
tion was successful. In 1822 he accepted app ointmen t as 
s ecretary for the legation of Chile, a place which he re- 
signed in Novem ber, 1824, to become secretary tor the" 
legation of Colombia. Just before accepting this position 
he rriarried his "second wife, Isabella Dunn 

Though his old friend Bolivar was now president of 



Colombia, Bcllo still rcct-ivcil only n meager salary in 
irJ-eguTaTr payments. H e did not join the chorus of tho^e 

w ho wrote fulsome vers es to the yberat(3itIa"i^rcT^vrbtch 

the latter probably resented, for there exists a letter 
written by Bolivar frcntj Quito in which he says of Bello: 
"His coldness has kept us separated to a certain degree." 

^I'he truth may be that BelK)'s long residence in England, 

or his intellectual pursu its had subdued his native Vene- 
zuelan fire. The political odes which he wrote, Ilimno de 
Colombia and Cancibn a la Disolucion de Colombia, lacked 
so much of the e.xaggerated rhetorical style then in vogue, 
that by the advice of his friend, Fernandez Madrid, they 
were not published. The same chilliness of inspiration 
marks the ode, Al iS de Septiembre, b}- which he signalized 
his arrival in Chile. 

He was invited to Chile by President Prieto in 1829, 
who offered him the post of chief se cretary for foreign 
affairs at a good salary, a nd an allowance of three hundred 
pounds {ox traveling expenses. From the day of reaching 
Chile Bello became closely identified with the intellectual 
movement of his adopted coun try, so that his career 
belongs with it rather than with his native Venezuela. 

As the representative Venezuelan writer of prose during 
the revolutionary period, it is necessary'to look to Simon 
Dolivar, howeve r strange it may seem to think of th e 
successful general, the Liberator, as a literary man. Yet 
in his speeches and his voluminous correspondence, re- 
cently edited by R. ^larTco Fombona, he reveals an ener- 
getic style typical of the man. ^ His speeches to his soldiers 

were apparently modeled after those ot Napoleon with 

wnbm his contemporaries so fondly compared him. S 


fair example of them is the proclamation issued when he 
returned to Bogota, on November 23rd, 1826: — "Colom- 
bians! Five years ago I left this capital to march at the 
head of the liberating army from the banks of the Cauca 
to the silver-bearing heights of Potosi. A million Colom- 
bians, two sister republics, have obtained independence 
in the shadow of our banners. And the world of Columbus 
has ceased to be Spanish. Such has been our absence." 



In North America the course of the revolution was 
different from l:hat on tTie soutliem continent. Of the two 

principal center^, Mexico and Cuba, the former emerged 
from the period as an Independent r epublic, wh ile _the_ 
Jatter became a refuge for royalists. Moreover the Mex- 

ican revolution, unlike those occurring in South America, 
'^rd^liot begin in the capitar^uTiri the provinces, and in- 

stead of o riginating with an intellectual class who fed its 
fires with argument and impassioned verse, the first out- 
break In Mexico was the affair of provincials, many of 
them of pure Indian blood, led by a rural priest, Miguel 
Hidalgo. The literary expression of events was subsequent 
to them by many years. On the other hand, the greatest 

revolutionary' poet, Jose Maria Heredia, whose unsur- 
passed verses were filled with burning inspiration and 
revol t, was a Cuban. In his country there took place 
nothing more than a mild conspiracy, easily suppressed, 
in which the poet was himself implicate^i But Heredfa 

during the impressionable years dt xcuth lived and w rote 
in Mexico. 

During the first decade of the nineteenth century there 
acted as viceroys of Mexico a succession of incompetent 
men whose chief aim in governing appeared to be the rapid 



accumulation of personal wealth. Resentment at their 
measures of taxation caused the formation of conspiracies 
in various parts of the country, especially after the home 
difficulties of Spain became kno\Mi. One of these con- 
spiracies was led by Ignacio Allende who organized military 
forces in various towns assisted by the counsel and in- 
fluence of Miguel Hidalgo, parish priest of the village 
Dolores in the mining region of Guanajuato. Before their 
preparations were completed, Allende learning that their 
plans had been betrayed to the authorities, so informed 
Hidalgo late one night. Undismayed, the latter replied, 
"We must act at once, there is no time to lose." The 
next morning, September i6th, 1810, a Sunday, Hidalgo, 
instead of conductmg the usual service, harangued the~ 



men ot the village from the ch urch steps and bade them ^ 
follow him to liberty. This was the famous "Grito de 
Dolores,'^ tlie cry to arms, from which dates the revolution 
in Mexico. The i6th of September is celebrated as the 
Mexican national holiday. 

— Hidalgo's little band steadily increased in numbers as 
they marched from village to village. A picture of Nuestra 
Senora de Guadelupe served as a banner under which to 
rally. In a week a horde of fifty thousand men, mainly 
Indians, armed with improvised weapons and a few mus- 
kets, had assembled. Their first objective was the city of 
Guanajuato, a mining center, where in a strong warehouse 
of stone, known as the "alhondiga de granaditas," was 
stored bullion to the value of ^5,000,000. The place was 
defended by five hundred Spanish troops. Though their 
musketry caused great slaughter in the assaulting mob 
crowded in the narrow streets, they were forced to yield 


by the disparity in nunilnrs. That iii.nht the town itself 
suffered pilhige and burning such as has always marked 
revolutions in Mexico. 

Then Hidalgo tt)ok up his march on the capital. The 
viceroy Venegas hastily collected such troops as he could. 
In the first encounters the royalist soldiers were defeated, 
but Hidalgo, being no soldier and his army a mob, was 
unable to take advantage of HTs successes. Instead oF 
advancing steadily on Mexico city, he discouragedhis 

forces by turnmg back. He occupied his time by trying 
to establish an organized government. He issued proc- 
lamations emancipating the slaves, restoring the land to 
^ the Indians, and calling a congress^ ~ 

1 he royalist troops meanwhile were put under the 
command of Felix Callcja del Rey, an efficient soldier, 
who for his successes was later appointed viceroy. Cal- 
leja's army came into contact with Hidalgo's mob on 
January 17th, 181 1, at the bridge of Calderon, where, 
favored by an extraordinary piece of luck, for the dry 
grass taking fire the flames and smoke were driven into 
the faces of the insurgents, Calleja completely routed the 
hosts of his opponents . A month later Allende and 
Hi dalgo we re taken prisoners, and after a formal trial were 

1 he direction of the rebellion fell to a friend and pupil 

ofiiidalgu, "jIsu a prigst and a younger man with a greater 
c apacity for leadership, Jose Maria Mo relos. He kept the 
field against the royalists un til 1815 when h e too was cap- 
tured and exe c uted. Among the exploits of these four 
years, one of the most famous was the defense of the city 
of Cuautla, from which after several months of siege, he 


and his forces succeeded in escaping. Morelos also carried 
out important plans for the organization of an insurgent 
government. A national congress was assembled which 
drew up a written constitution for Mexico. After Morelos' 
death the insurgents became mere marauding bands which 
were gradually hunted down. 

In 1820 occurred in Spain the revol utionary movement 
making the liberal Cortes temporarily supreme. In 
Mexico the privileged classes of the city felt that the time 
had come for seeking independence. As military leader 
was selected Agustin de Iturbide, who had been one of the 
most active generals in the campaign against Morelos. 
Under pretense of putting down a rebel band then vigorous 
under Vicente Guerrero, he left the city with a few thou- 
sand soldiers which were later increased in number by 
the unsuspecting viceroy. At the proper moment Itur- 
bide divulged to his troops his real intentions in which 
they acquiesced. On February 24th, 1821, he promul- 
gated a manifesto, since known as the "Plan de Iguala." 
' It declaTed tor the absolute independence of Mexico, 
~-~ the R omaB-tJ atholicTa tth^ rhe^tat e religion, an absolute 
monarchy as the form of government with a member of 
the Spanish royal family tor ruler, the maintenance of all 
existing institutions ot property and privileges, the estab- 
TiiTTment of a junta to rule unTil the selection of a monarch 
and tTie support of the three guarant ees of Indepen dence, 
RelTgion, and Unity, symbolized resp ectively in the n a- 
""tional^cblors, green, wtiite, a iid^red. 

This revolution w as entirely aristocratic and reactionary 
against the liberal tendencies at work in Sp ain. The 
privrlegcd"^rhlsses~irr Mexico were afraid of interference 


with tluit rij;lns l\v the democratic Spanish Cortes which 
hail won the upper hanil in the contest with the King 
Fernando \ II. Some Mexicans even proposed inviting 
the King to become Emperor of Mexico. 

In consequence of the origin and character of the revo- 
lution, Iturbide met with little resistance. The garrisons 
of the provincial towns joined his forces. The main body 
of insurgents led by Guerrero agreed to the plan and the 
whole army entered Mexico city. A little later when a 
new viceroy Juan O'Donaju, sent by the Cortes, arrived, 
he found no soldiers to assist him. So he signed a treaty, 
for which the Cortes had given Rim authority, acknowledg- 
ing the independence of Mexiaa- It is interesting to note 
t hat in this treaty of C5rdova, "signed m August, 1821, 
occurs the first instance of the use of the name Mexico to 

designate officially the whole country which the Spaniards 

r- f rom the time of its discovery had called Nueva Esp ana. 

For a few months Mexior was governed by the junta 

presided over b y Iturbide. Then in February of 1822, 

^. the latter by a coup d'etat caused him self to be pr oclaimed 

Emperor of Mexico. The costly magnificence with which 

he set up his co urt and TTiis~various pretensions^ m adg.him- 

ridiculous and distrusted. It was not long before he was 

deposed and banished. The Mexican Congre ss estab- 

lished a federal republic of which Guadelupe Victoria, 

one of tlie leaders in Morelos ' arm y, was ele cted the first 
president. A sentence of death was passed on Iturbide 
in case he should return to Mexico. The latter, apparently 
unaware of this decree, did land there in July, 1S24, and 
in three days was shot without a trial. 

About Iturbide and his fortunes clusters most of the 


' revolutionary literature . Typical is the vigorous ode 
Al i6 de Septiembre de 1821, by Andres Quintana Roo 
(1787-185 1). First it presents a picture of the Iberian 

'^triumph over the Mexicans led by Hidalgo. His example 
fires the noble soul of Morelos, but in spite of his efforts 
to achieve liberty for the Mexicans, fortune reserves the 
supreme glory for Iturbide, "whose name surpasses that 
of the others as much as the brilliance of the moon out- 
shines the numberless stars in the firmament." 
Quintana Roo was a native of Yucatan and the Mexicans 

by naming a territory in that peninsula after him. In 

the same way states have been named for Hidalgo, More- 
los, and Guerrero. After Iturbide's fall, Quintana Roo 
edited various political journals in which he expressed' 
m vigorous prose a high-minded position on public affairsr— * 
Verses by the Cuban poet JJeredia exist praising Quintana 
Roo for daring to oppose certain arbitrary and^ tyrannical - 

acts of the government. Qui ntana Roo 's verses are well 
written for he was a student "of prosod y and publisK e^ 
critical articles concerni ng it. 

Another native of Y ucatan, Wenceslao Aifiuc ke 
(1804-41), struck in his odes a strongly patriotic no^e 

with almost epic intonation. His most famous one, A 
Hidalgo^ reviews the bloody course of Mexican history; 
then after an apostrophe to liberty, Alpuche declares that 
Hidalgo, like Leonidas and Washington, was inspired 
by her. Realistically portraying Hidalgo's hour of death, 
he urges Mexicans to look on the hero's remains as he 
prophesies that from the ground fertilized by Hidalgo's 
blood will spring avengers. In a similar strain Alpuche 



sang the death of Morclos, in his ode .// Suplicio dr Mo- 

Morelos' most famous exploit, the escape from the 
siege ot Lua utla, w as Immortaliz ed l)y~Trancisc() Manuel 

\ ^ Sanchez de Tagle (1782^47), who described it in his 
poem Romance Hfroico de la Salida de Morelos de Cuautla. 
Being a city man Sanchez de Tagle was more especially 
enthusiastic over Iturbide in whose honor he indited 
several poems. In a political capacity he was associated 
with that leader, for he was one of those who composed 
the Declaration of Independence of the year 1821. As a 
poet Sanchez de Tagle was pru lific and is considered the 

\ principal representative of classicism in Mexico. A fter 
his death there ^as pu blished b y hi s son a volume of his 
, yerse, mainly lo ve l yrics a nd re ligiou s pieces in classical 
style. One of his e arliest poems in poin t of time consists 
of verses of occasion to celebrate the erection in Mexico 

of a statue of Carlos IV. The poet owed much to the 

^fact that he attracted the attention of the viceroy who 
appomted him a professor in the university. T he promi- 
nence of such a man in the revolution of 1820 shows how 
different was its character from that of previous revolu- 
tionary efforts. 

The a dmiration of Iturbide in its extreme form is re- 
vealed in the poems of Anastasio de Ochoa y Acuna 
\ ('7^3~^^33)- His earliest writings were satiric and festive 
\ lines and translations, especially of dramas. In 1813 was 
produced his original drama Don Jlfonso. The best of 
his patriotic odes is El Crito de Independencia. In this 
he compares Spanish tyranny to a cloud such as a shepherd 
sees approaching with the destructive force of a whirl- 


wind about to overwhelm his humble home. Like the 
tempest are the misfortunes of Mexico where only a hand- 
ful of patriots are fighting for liberty. But while Iturbide 
lives there is hope, and in anticipation of his ultimate 
success, the poet congratulates "the American Mars" on 
his good fortune and triumph. 

But Iturbi de's assumption o f the crown as Emperor of 
Mexico aroused indignation and denunciation such as 
was expressed in the ode A Iturbide en su Coronacion by 

^ Franciico Ortega (1 793-184 9). This ode deserves a 

v place as a cla ssic inv ective aga inst ambition. The poet 
urges Iturbide to listen to the voice of patriotism and 
turn aside from false ambition. His true glory lies in 
having achieved the independence of a people and not 
in occupying a throne. Ortega enjoyed the distinction 
of having written an allegorical melodrama, Mexico 

yT Libre, which was produced as a part of the official celebra- 
tion of the oaths of independence on October 27th, 1821. 
In allegorical style Ortega wrote much other patriotic 

^ verse, in which Liberty assisted by Mars and Pallas favors 
America while Despotism and Discord are put to rout. 
In the allegorical vein Ortega's longest poem is La Ven ida 
del Espiritu Santo, to a large extent a p araphrase o f tlTe^ 
first book of Milton 's Paradis e Lo st, and yet wor thyTo' 
rank among the world's religious epics. The poem deals "* 
with the opposition of Satan and his legions to the apostles. 
The chief characters are Satan and St. Paul. The first 
canto consists of a review of the forces of darkness in 
which Moloch is represented by Huitzilopochtli, the war 
god of the ancient Mexicans to whom their bloody human 
sacrifices were made. Important episodes of the poem 



are the triumph of St. Stephen, the conversion of St. Paul 

and the de.scent of the Holy Cihost upon the apostles, 

an event which Satan contemplates with scornful sneers. 

One writer of prose who lived during the revolutionary 

period in Mexico deserves mention, Jose Joaquin Fernan- 
~3e z de CizarJT (1774-1827). F'rom 18 1 2 to _i_S26j_ uodciL 
the na me of "El Pensador Mexicano," he was the cham- 
pion pamphleteer of the revolution. In this capacity he 
defended the ecclesiastics who, stimulated by the example 

I of Hidalgo, had supported the revolution by bearing arms. 

For his bold utterances he was thrown into prison by the 
viceroy Venegas in spite of that provision of the constitu- 
tion of 181 2 guaranteeing the liberty of the press. How- 

I \ ever, he was soon released. Then he gave forth his ideas 
upon the condition of Mexico and its needs by publishing 
in 1816 a picaresque novel, El Periquillo Saniiento. 

\ This book, though written with a distinctly didactical 

purpose, is still read for the amusing character of the in- 
cidents. Like Gil Bias, the hero penetrates all classes of 

' Mexican society, examining its virtues and vices, especially 

those which its author wishes to praise or flagellate. The 
title is a nickname, by explaining which the writer desires 
to discourage the habit of calling names. The hero's 
name Pedro had been turned by his schoolmates into 
Periquillo because he was sent to school dressed in a green 
jacket and yellow pantaloons, the colors of the plumage 
of the common Mexican parrot; and in order to tiis- 
tinguish this Pedro from another, the additional title 
Sarniento, derived from a malady which he suffered, was 
bestowed upon him. The practical result of his schooling 
at the hands of various ignorant teachers was to make 


him able to contend in sophistical argument. Beginning 
then his life career, he is, by turns, novice in a monastery, 
highwayman, jail-bird, barber and doctor. In the course 
of his wanderings, he comes upon the corpse of a school 
friend hanging by the roadside, a warning to malefactors. 
The life of this friend, one of whose early adventures had 
been an attempt to seduce Pedro's sister, conveys the 
ordinary lesson of the bad end of the bad boy. Altogether 
the Mexican critic Altamirano considers this realistic 
novel to be "the most genuin e re p resen t ation o f the 


T he "Pensador's " political writing becomes most in- 
teresting in Las Conversaciones del Payo y del Sacristan^ 
in which are discussed wit h infinite irony a nd delighd^ul 
jest "the advant ages which have com e to Mexico by the 
death of Iturbide ." These imaginary conversations is- 
sued between August and December, 1824, introducing 
various types of Mexican character and treating the 
serious problems which confronted society, are essential 
to any study of social conditions at that time. 

Fernandez de Lizardi published two other novels, La 
Quijotita y su PrTmOyiSig, and Don Catrin de la Facherma^ 
1825, but in these the didactical motive has gaine3~com- 
plete ascendancy for they are practically devoid of in- 
cident. In the former a colonel instructs his daughter in 
the moral conduct of her life; the fact that such a preach- 
ment was widely read in several editions is perhaps il- 
luminating in regard to the literary taste of the period. 
The title of the latter has contributed an epithet used in 
Mexico, to characterize the type of person represented 
by Don Catrin. A shorter book than either of these is 


NochfS tristtrs, in wliich the writLT gives personal details 
of his imprisonment . Altogether "El Pensador Mexi- 
cano" is a name fondly remembered by his countrym en 
because it represents a typical pers ona lity of the period. 

While revolution was setting Spanish America aflame, 
the island of Cuba became the place of ref uge for loyalists. 
The immigration from Santo Domingo was the first to 
come. In 1795, the whole island had been ceded to the 
French, and immediately thereafter the negro insurrec- 
tion raging in Haiti spread to Santo Domingo. In 1801, 
the negro leader Toussaint L'Ouverture captured the 
capital from which many of the leading families had 
already gone to Cuba. Among them were the parents of 
J. M. Heredia destined to be Cuba's greatest poet. 

The loyalist immigrants contribu ted largely to the 

efements of culture in Cuba. An interest in literature 

among the men of Habana had led as early as 1790 to 

the establishment of allterary journal, El Papel Periodico. 

Ls the contributions to this paper were published anony- 

mously It has been somewhat ditticult to know much of 

their authors, but two names of poets surpassing the others 
have come down to posterity, Manuel de Zequeira y 
Arango (i 760-1 545; and Manuel ^711 s t o de Kubalcava 

(1768-1805). "' 

Ue Zequeira rose to relatively high rank in the Spanish 
army and commanded the garrison of the fortress of 
Santa Marta in Nueva Granada when it was besieged by 
the colonial army. In private life he was a studious man 
whose influence and example was highly beneficial to 
Cuban letters. Of his poems, written in imitation of the 
classical style of the Spanish poets of the golden age, the 


best is La Batalla naval de Cortes en la Laguna de Mexico. 
This contains the striking description of the death of a 
Spanish soldier, Pedro de la Barba, killed by the arrow of 
a native. De Zequeira was also a graceful sonneteer, 
but herein his work is not always distinguishable from 
that of his friend De Rubalcava. So closely do their 
peculiarities coincide that critics have been unable to 
make certain which is the author of an admirable sonnet, 
La Huston, in which all earthly glory is compared to the 
fugacious glory of the dreamer. Though the sonnet has 
been commonly assigned to Rubalcava, it first appeared 
in the Papel Peribdico over the pen name used by De 
Zequeira. The latter wrote much religious verse also in 
which is apparent the influence of the Mexican poet 

Such was the spirit of poetical production in Cuba 
during the first twenty yea rs of the nineteenth ce ntury^ 
until there suddenly appeared a book of verse which there- 

' after became the inspiration of Cuban separat ists. Its 
author, Jose Maria Heredia (1803-39), has been called 
by a Spaniard, "the compendium and epitome of all 
enmity toward iSpain." But Heredja regarded hirns ell^ ^ 
as a Span iard and refer s in his ve rses to Spain as " tender., 

, mother." As a partisan, however, of the liberals, who 
supported in 1820 the revolution led by Rafael del Riego, 
he wrote burning verses against "the oppressor of Iberia," 
and called Spain stupid because she consented to oppres- 
sion and to the death of Riego. Heredia's language, 
however, was later applicable to the political situation 
in Cuba. 

Heredia, moreover, was involved in the first attempt at 


insurrection in Cuba, which occurred in iS^j. lie was a 
member of the society known as the "Soles de Bolivar," 
who plotted to obtain independence for Cuba through 
the assistance of Mexico and Colombia. Such a conspiracy 
of young hotheads in a society composed of loyalist ref- 
ugees was predestined to failure. Besides, the relaxation 
of the Spanish commercial laws, incident to the political 
conditions of America, had brought great material pros- 
perity to Cuba, and thereby an atmosphere not at all 
favorable to revolution. 

But Heredia, though bom in Cuba, had come to man- 
hood In a more bracmg moral environment. His father 
w^ a government official, who KaJ acteiT as chief judge 
of the court in Caracas in the days when Venezuela was 
trembling under the tyranny of Monteverde. The elder 
HefeiTT~felt 5>Llch sympathy^for the victims ^ of offici al 
tyranny and in his capacity as ma gistrate show ed^ such 
con^deration for them that suspicion of complicity in 
the~revolution tell on his own head. He was punished 
by~~bt!mg Transferred to a lesser position in Mexico in 
which country he died in 1820. Of his father the poet 
wrote in a poem dedicated to his memory, "In your charge 
you took my education and never to others' hands en- 
trusted my tender childhood. Love for all men, fear of 
God you inspired in me and hatred of atrocious tyranny." 

After his father's death th e young^jnaiL weotL-to Cuba - 
to finish his studies in law and finally settle d in the citv 
pr^Tatanz as as a practicing att orney. He took with him 
many of the poems which w ere to make him famous 
after their publication. Some of them probably circu- 
lated m manuscript and added fuel to the fires of revolt" 


which broke out in 1823. For his part Heredia was con- 
demned by the audiencia of Cuba to perpetual banish- 
ment. He went to the United States, traveled about 

there for a short time, then departed for Mexico where he 
married, became a government official and lived there to 
the end of his days. In 1836 he was permitted by the 
Spanish authorities to return to Cuba for a brief visit of 
two months, constantly harassed by annoying restrictions. 
On account of the murmurs then circulating in the island 
against the actions of the governor, the restrictions may 
have been justifiable from the official point of view, but 
in so far as they brought Heredia and his poetic utter- 
S^nces to the notice of Cubans they were unwise. Heredia 
himself was far from thinking of inciting insurrection. 
^ SufFcri ng-fronmriiealth ajid a sort of moral dejection on 
account of turbulent political conditions in Mexico, he 
even gave expression to some thoughts which have been 
widely published by Spaniards a s a recan tation of the 

, politicaf beliefs whi ch inspired his poem s. 

The first edition of his poems, printed in New York in 
1825, contains practically all he ever wrote that people 
care for. A comparison of it with the edition of Toluca, 
1832, advertised to contain additional poems, shows that 
the additions consist of a few occasional pieces, a phil- 
osophical dissertation in verse on immortality, and a 
number of translations. In Mexico he first drew attention 
to himself by writing foTthe papers and by the productlofl — 

^75f"~Certaih tragedies largely adaptations from French, 
the Ahufar of Ducis, Sila, TJb erio, and Los ultim o s R o- ~~ 
mdnos. TTie tirades against tyranny which abound in 
the^e dramas were quite toTHFtaste of the Mexican public ,, 


^ and assisted materially in making the political fortune 
of their auth or. 

The New York edition has a preface in English which 
cannot help exciting pathetic interest in the reader fa- 
miliar with the circumstances. It is a sort of adver- 
tisement designed perhaps to help along its sale, thus: 
"The author has paid particular attention to the accents 
to make these poems useful to Americans learning the 
Spanish language. Nothing is better calculated to give 
them a practical knowledge of the true pronunciation of 
words than the habit of reading poetr>'. May they re- 
ceive this little service of an exiled youth as an expres- 
sion of gratitude for the asylum he has found in this happy 

Those poems of Heredia which are not political in char- 
acter must be classed with that type of poetry more 
noteworthy for its ideas than for its form. For that 
reason they are susceptible of good translation into other 
languages. At the same time his poems possess a sub- 
jective element revealing a passionate personality that 

causes some critics to compare him with Byr on an d oth er, 
romantic poe ts^ But there is nothing of the romantic 
j)ose in Heretfia's li nes for his banishment had imbued 
them wit h the note of sincerity. Heredia stands in per- 
sonal touch with the elemental forces of nature in their 

sublimest form. "Hurricane, hurricane, I feel thee com- 
ing," he cried; or to the sun, "I love thee, Sun: thou 
knowest how joyfully I greet thee, when thou appearest 
at the gates of the east." To the mighty falls of Niagara 
he speaks in a familiar tone, "mighty torrent, hush thy 
terrifying thunder; diminish a little the darkness that 


surrounds thee; let me contemplate thy serene counte- 
nance and fill my soul with ardent enthusiasm." 

Heredia's poems do not contain elaborate descriptions 
oF natu re^ On the' co ntrary he paiiits with a bold stroke^^ 
intent on producing a suitable background for the ideks 
^Tiich fill his so ul. Take fo r examp le the poem Kn~^h- 
Teocalli de Cholula. T he po^ se^t fetj, in the ancient jtem ple 
of the Aztecs watches ^he sun sinK~b€hiad^a"^olcano. 
Its snow-clad top seems to dissolve into a sea of gold. 
Darkness falls. The moon and the stars become visible. 
As the moon sinks behind the volcano, the shadow of the 
mountain, like a colossal ghost, strides across the plain 
till it envelops the poet and the whole world, though the 
vast form of the volcano is still outlined against the sky. 
The flight of time thus leaves no traces on this giant. 
Nevertheless the poet knows that according to the law 
of nature it mu^ some day fall. 

Th j flight of tim e seemed to be always present to H ere- 
dia's mind . The Aztec temple is now nothing but a deso- 
late monument to the cruel pride of an extinct race. The 
majestic waters of Niagara run "like the dark torrent 
of centuries into eternity." It is such criti c ism of j ife, 
though common place at times, that gives H eredia's 
poetry a tinge of melancholy. Therein he resembles our" 


own poet, William Cullen Bryant. And to Bryant we 
fortunately owe metrical translations of two of Heredia's 
greatest poems, the ode to the Hurricane and the ode on 
Niagara to which Heredia owes the appellation bestowed 
on him of "Singer of Niagara." The latter runs thus: 

My lyre! Give me my lyre! My bosom feels 
The glow of inspiration. O, how long 


Have I bvvn lift in darkness, since this light 
Last visited niy brow! Niagara! 
Thou with thy rushing waters dost restore 
The heavenly gift that sorrow took away. 

Tremendous torrent! for an instant hush 
The terrors of thy voice, and cast aside 
Those wide-involving shadows, that my eyes 
May see the fearful beauty of thy face! 
I am not all unworthy of thy sight. 
For from my very boyhood have I loved. 
Shunning the meaner track of common minds, 
To look on Nature in her loftier moods. 
At the fierce rushing of the hurricane. 
At the near bursting of the thunderbolt, 
I have been touched with joy; and when the sea 
Lashed by the wind hath rocked my bark, and showed 
Its yawning caves beneath me, I have loved 
Its dangers and the wrath of elements. 
But never yet the madness of the sea 
Hath moved me as thy grandeur moves me now. 

Thou flowest on in quiet, till thy waves 
Grow broken 'midst the rocks; thy current then 
Shoots onward like the irresistible course 
Of Destiny. Ah, terribly they rage, — 
The hoarse and rapid whirlpools there! My brain 
Grows wild, my senses wander, as I gaze 
Upon the hurrying waters, and my sight, 
Vamly would follow, as toward the verge 
Sweeps the wide torrent. Waves innumerable 
Meet there and madden, — waves innumerable 
Urge on and overtake the waves before. 
And disappear in thunder and in foam. 

They reach, they leap the barrier, — the abyss 
Swallows insatiable the sinking waves. 


A thousand rainbows arch them, and woods 

Are deafened with the roar. The violent shock 

Shatters to vapor the descending sheets. 

A cloudy whirlwind fills the gulf, and heaves 

The mighty pyramid of circling mist 

To heaven. The solitary hunter near 

Pauses with terror in the forest shades. 

What seeks my restless eye ? Why are not here, 
About the jaws of this abyss, the palms — 
Ah, the delicious palms, — that on the plains 
Of my own native Cuba spring and spread 
Their thickly foliaged summits to the sun. 
And, in the breathings of the ocean air, 
Wave soft beneath the heaven's unspotted blue? 

But no, Niagara, — thy forest pines 
Are fitter coronal for thee. The palm, 
The eflfeminate myrtle, and frail rose may grow 
In gardens, and give out their fragrance there. 
Unmanning him who breathes it. Thine it is 
To do a nobler office. Generous minds 
Behold thee, and are moved, and learn to rise 
Above earth's frivolous pleasures; they partake 
Thy grandeur, at the utterance of thy name. 

God of all truth! in other lands I've seen 
Lying philosophers, blaspheming men. 
Questioners of thy mysteries, that draw 
Their fellows deep into impiety; 
And therefore doth my spirit seek thy face 
In earth's majestic solitudes. Even here 
My heart doth open all itself to thee. 
In this immensity of loneliness, 
I feel thy hand upon me. To my ear 
The eternal thunder of the cataract brings 
Thy voice, and I am humbled as I hear. 



Dread torrent, that with wonder and with fear 
Dost over\vhcLni the soul of him that looks 
I'pon thee, and dost bear it from itself, — 
Whence hast thou thy beginning? Who supplies, 
Age after age, thy unexhausted springs? 
What power hath ordered, that when all thy weight 
Descends into the deep, the swollen waves 
Rise not and roll to ovcnvhelm the earth? 

The Lord has opened his omnipotent hand. 
Covered thy face with clouds, and given voice 
To thy down-rushing waters; he hath girt 
Thy terrible forehead with his radiant bow. 
I see thy never-resting waters run. 
And I betliink me how the tide of time 
Sweeps to eternity. So pass of man — 
Pass, like a noonday dream — the blossoming days 
And he awakes to sorrow. I, alas! 
Feel that my youth is withered, and my brow 
Ploughed early with the lines of grief and care. 

Never have I so deeply felt as now 
The hopeless solitude, the abandonment, 
The anguish of a loveless life. Alas! 
How can the impassioned, the unfrozen heart 
Be happy without love? I would that one 
Beautiful, worthy to be loved and joined 
In love with me, now shared my lonely walk 
On this tremendous brink. 'Twere sweet to see 
Her sweet face touched with paleness, and become 
More beautiful from fear, and overspread 
With a faint smile while clinging to my side. 
Dreams, — dreams! I am an exile, and for me 
There is no country and there is no love. 

Hear, dread Niagara, my latest voice! 
Yet a few years, and the cold earth shall close 


Over the bones of him who sings thee now 

Thus feelingly. Would that this, my humble verse. 

Might be, like thee, immortal! I, meanwhile, 

Cheerfully passing to the appointed rest, 

Might raise my radiant forehead in the clouds 

To listen to the echoes of my fame. 

Even in the presence of the rushing waters Heredia 
yearns tor love, an ever present desire witETiim^ In the 
lines on his father^s death he expresses the hope of finding 

consolation for his loss in "the arms of his be loved." 
In the matter of his beloved it is interesting to note the 
dedications of the two editions of his poems prepared 
by Heredia himself. In the edition of New York the honor 
of the first place is given to certain lines, "To a young 
lady who used to read my verses with pleasure." In the 
edition of Toluca these lines are replaced by a sonnet, 
"To my Wife," thus translated by James Kennedy. 

When yet was burning in my fervid veins 

The fieriness of youth, with many a tear 

Of grief, 'twas mine of all my feelings drear. 

To pour in song the passion and the pains; 

And now to thee I dedicate the strains, 

My wife, when love, from youth's illusions freer. 

In our pure hearts is glowing deep and clear, 

And calm serene for me the daylight gains. 

Thus lost on raging seas, for aid implores 

Of Heaven the unhappy mariner, the mark 

Of tempests bearing on him wild and dark; 

And on the altars when are gained the shores, 

Faithful to the deity he adores. 

He consecrates the relics of his bark. 

The full intensity of Heredia's temperament is revealed 


in the lines to the Hurricane. For some reason Bryant 
did not translate the last stanza of the poem, perhaps 
because it was too intense for the Puritan in him. It has 
been necessary then to add it in a prose form, because to 
Heredia this stanza was the climax to the rest. Though 
Bryant's translation is at times almost literal he para- 
phrased the opening cry, "Hurricane, hurricane, I feel 
thee coming." 

Lord of the winds! I feel thee nigh, 
I know thy breath in the burning sky! 
And I wait, with a thrill in every vein, 
For the coming of the hurricane! 

And lo! on the wing of theJjgavxxalfiS. 
Through the boundless arch of heaven he sails; 
Silent and slow, and terribly strong, 
The might^^hadow' is borne along. 
Like the dark eternity to come; 
While the world below, dismayed and dumb. 
Through the calm of the thick hot atmosphere. 
Looks up at its gloomy folds with fear. 

They darken fast; and' the golden blaze 
Of the sun is quenched in the lurid haze. 
And he sends through the shade a funeral ray— 
A glare that is neither night nor day, 
A beam that touches, with hues of death. 
The clouds above and the earth beneath. 
To its covert glides the silent bird. 
While the hurricane's distant voice is heard 
Uplifted among the mountains round. 
And the forests hear and answer the sound. 

He IS come! he is come! do ye not behold 
His ample robes on the wind unrolled? 


Giant of air! we bid thee hail! — 

How his gray skirts toss in the whirling gale; 

How his huge and writhing arms are bent 

To clasp the zone of the firmament, 

And fold at length, in their dark embrace. 

From mountain to mountain the visible space. 

Darker — still darker! the whirlwinds bear 
The dust of the plains to the middle air: 
And hark to the crashing, long and loud. 
Of the chariot of God in the thunder-cloud! 
You may trace its path by the flashes that start 
From the rapid wheels where'er they dart. 
As the fire-bolts leap to the world below, 
And flood the skies with a lurid glow. 

What roar is that? — 'tis the rain that breaks 
In torrents away from the airy lakes. 
Heavily poured on the shuddering ground. 
And shedding a nameless horror round. 
Ah! well-known woods, and mountains, and skies, 
With the very clouds! — ye are lost to my eyes. 

I seek ye vainly, and see in your place 
The shadowy tempest that sweeps through space, 
A whirling ocean that fills the wall 
Of the crystal heaven, and buries all, 
And I, cut oflF from the world, remain 
Alone with the terrible hurricane. 

Sublime tempest! As if filled with thy solemn inspiration, 
I forget the vile and wretched world and raise my head 
full of delight. Where is the coward soul that fears thy 
roar? In thee I rise to the throne of the Lord; I 
hear in the clouds the echo of his voice; I feel the 
earth listen to him and tremble. Hot tears descend my 
pale cheeks and trembling, I adore his lofty majesty. 


1 he sainc ticry ardor is displaced in Ilcrcdia's political 
poems. TKcTi chiel sentiments are hatred of oppression' 

and love of liberty. A series of sonnets on Riego, Rome, 

Cato, Napoleon, all express admiration for champions of 
human rights. Napoleon saved Prance from anarchy and 
made kings tremble; though he died abandoned on a 
lonely rock, his life exemplifies the fact that no oppression 
however strong is irresistible. Love of liberty is ever the 
poet's cry. In his earliest political composition, La Es- 
trella de Cuba, written at the age of nineteen and probably 
circulated in manuscript among the conspirators of 1823, 
Heredia calls for sacrifice of this sort, "If the scaffold 
awaits me, upon its height my bleeding head will appear 
a monument of Spanish brutality." 

When banished he indited an Epistola a Emilia, a gem 
of personal lyric verse. Homesick and longing for the 
"terrible sun" of Cuba, he wrote from the North: "I am 
free, but what cruel change! The winter's wind is roaring; 
upon its wings flies the piercing cold. The inert world 
suffers the tyranny of cruel winter. My ear hears not the 
voices of my friends but only the barbarous sounds of a 
foreign idiom. But it is not wearied by the insolent 
tyrant, nor the groan of the slave nor the crack of the whip 
which poisons the air of Cuba. At night when the light of 
the silent moon and the delicious perfume of the lemon in- 
vite to repose, a thousand thoughts of rage becloud my 

The political verse attains a climax in the closing lines 
of the Himno del Desterrado: "Cuba, Cuba, what life you 
gave me, sweet land of light and beauty! And am I to see 
thee again .^ How sternly the severity of my fate weighs 


on me to-day! Oppression threatens me with death in 
the fields where I was born. Cuba, at last thou shalt be 
free and pure as the air thou breathest, as the sparkling 
waves which thou dost see kissing the sand of thy shores. 
Though vile traitors serve him, the tyrant's wrath is vain, 
because not for naught between Cuba and Spain does the 
sea roll its billows." 

Heredia's prophecy of September, 1825, was not fulfilled 
for nearly three^u art^ of a centur y , but during^ that 
period his poe ms were a constan t insp iration to Cuban 
patriotism. To this fact even the Spanish critic Menendez 
y Felayo testifies with bitterness in these words,^"If his 
political activity does not equal that of other conspirators 


• against Spain, because he took no part in an armed strug- 
gle, his literary influence was continuous and more effectual 
tha n a"ny^ t h e r Because ^e^urpassed all in talen t . ' ' 

As there is in Heredia something typical of Spanish 
Americans, his vague sensuality, his melancholia, his out- 

blIrsts~of hatred, his love of liberty^ his poetry is doubly._ ^ 
interestmg. The ease with which he was able to express 
these different emotions ma^e him Tn difFerent at time^ to"^ 
clasjsical finish in the formof his verse. In t his he belongeJ^ 
to the romantic school. For an exact and comprehensive 
criticism oT Heredia n obodyTias ever excel led^ t^at oFtl ie 
Spanish critic, Alberto Lista, who said after reading the 

first edition of his poems, "He is a great poet; the fire of 
his soul has passed into his verses and is transmitted toTiis 


Heredia must be cla ssed with the rev olutionary epoch 
though he stands alone among Cubans of that day. The 

Cuban struggle for independence was to fill the whole of 

— — . ^ - ■*7k 


the nineteenth century unJ therefore tlie whulc ot Cuban 
literature may be called revolutionary. On the other 
hand, in other Spanish-American countries the winning 
of independence was followed by a period of adjustment 
t o new political cond itions. As this adj ustment v aried ■ 
with local conditions there sprang up local literatures 

which must be studied separately. 



After separation from Spain the vast territory of the 
Argentine Republic, divided politically into provinces, 
was organized into a natronality^y Bernardo Rivadavia. 
Under his dictatorship JbJuenos Aires became the capital 
of a centralized or unitarian republic. Against the suprem- 
acy of the city the provinces demanded a federal republic 

^ and rose in rebellion, fighting even among themselves. ^ 
Moreover, it became necessary to assert Argentine sov- \ 

ereignty over the frontier province, now the indepen dent 

republic of Uruguay, against the ag gressions of t he Por- 
tuguese from Brazil. The Uruguay ans oppose d an armed 
resist ance to the claims of the Bra zil ians and were assisted 
by forces sent out from Buenos Aires. In the final batt lfe^^ 
at Ituzaingo, on February 20, 1827, the Braz ilia ns wer e 
so decisively beaten that the question of sovereignty was 
settled, while a treaty between Argentina and Uruguay 
the next year conceded absolute independerice to the latteK 
An ode in celebration of this battle, Al Triunfo de Itu- 
zaingOf is one of the best lyrical pieces of the Argentine** 
poet Juan Cruz Va rela (1794-1839). , It is a long poem^ 
relating rather minutely the course of the fight. In this 
respect it resembles the ballad chronicles which were in- 
spired by the political events in Buenos Aires from the 
time of the bombardment of the city by the English. But 



thiTf is a swing to these verses of V^arcla's which puts him 
poetically above his fellow balladists. V'arela was not 
only a journalistic champion of Rivadavia's administra- 
tion but the poetic chronicler of all the occurrences of it, 
writing odes on the foundation of the university, on the 
hydraulic \vorks~ord er ed by tlie government, orTtHe^ estaB^ 
lishment o f the p hilharmonic society. In spite of the 
apparent dullness of such topics Varela in fused th em with 
life. Especially praised is an ode on the liberty of the press, 
for V'arela was a fierce patriot. His fierceness reaches a 
climax in an ode, Al Incendio de Cangallo. This was a 
Peruvian village burned and razed by the Spaniards in 
1S22, an act which roused great indignation and is still 
commemorated by the name of a street in Buenos Aires. 
\'arela called for "vengeance, pitiless vengeance, on the 
Iberian tigers, the proud Spaniards, hateful race of the 
execrated Attila." Such invective was as much to the lik- 

ing of the author's contemporaries as it is unpleasant to 

\frr-bjp ania r ds c o - d ay: ■ —"Trill 

M \ \L sainc hypc fb olical a nd decl amat ory rhetoric m ade 
popular two dramas by Varela, Dido, znd^Azguir-^mFittcn — 
Un production before the Sociedad del Buen Gusto in 

Hui'iKJtJ'A rr'es. [ hese were In some respects the m ost 

original dramas produce d through th e influence of that 
society for the promotion of the drama. In 1823 the 
tirades in Dido created enthusiasm for their apt references 
to the political situation. The same was true of Argia 
a year later. This play was based on Alfieri's Antigonr, 
while Dido sometimes followed Virgil word for word. In 
his later years Varela made a metrical version of the 
Aeneid though only the first two books of the epic were 


ever printed. Juan Cruz Varela deserves credit for his 
effor ts in classic culture during the troublous times in which — 
he lived. ^~~~^ 

The unitarian party to which Varela belonged was forced 
out of power and beaten in battle by the federalists under 
the leadership of Juan Manuel Rosas. This man, sup- 
ported by the gauchos of the interior, finally succeeded in 
assuming absolute power. To his political opponents he 
was merciless. Calling them savages and confiscating 
their property for the benefit of his adherents, he organized 
a special body of police called the "Mazhorca" to hunt 
down and exterminate all unitarians. JVIany of those who ^ 
escaped from his clutches into exile, since they were ei^ 
ucated men, tooTT up the fight against Rosas with pen as 
well as sword." For that reaso n Argentine literature u ntTT' 
the latter's fall in 1852 is to a large extent a militant 
prot-est against that tyrant. Juan Cruz Varela's last 
poem, for example, rhetor ically on e of his best, Jl 25 de ^ 
Mayo de i8j8, was directed against Rosas. 

Before the worst days of Rosas' controTthere occurred 
an event of the fir st magnitude in t he history of Spa nish- 
American letters, the introduction of ro manticism through 
the publication of Esteban Echeverria's poem Elvira in 
1832. This date is noteworthy because it is the same 

year in which appeared the Duque de Rivas' Moro espos ttol 
the first important production of Spanish romanticism. 

Argentina~tlius received directly the French type of roman- 
ticism whereas otTier countries absorbed the romantic spIiTt 
.at second hand through the medium of Spanish works. 

Nature in Argentina was to offer a fertile field for ex- 
ploitation by romantic poets. Contemporary withEche- 


verrla but <Jyinj» too young to fulhll the promise of his 
early work was Ilorcncio Balcarce (1H15-39). His memory 
is kept alive by certain pieces through their evocation of 
national scenery and life. The song of the milkman, 
El Lechfro, is fresh and natural. El Cigarro evoked the 
memory of the national hero San Martin then living in 
semi-€,\ile in Europe. The poem depicts an old man 
smoking a cigar beneath the shade of an ombu tree. Phil- 
osophizing to his grandchildren, he finds that fame is like 
the ashes of his cigar, that old men are cast aside and 
despised like the butt of a cigar. There is something of 
the romantic spirit in Balcarce's poems and had he lived 
longer he might have been one of the ablest of Echever- 
ria's disciples. 

Esteban Echeverria (1805-51) at the age of twenty, 
went to Europe in search of educational advantages not 
to be found then in his native land. The study of literature 
appears to have been his chief occupation, the works of 
Shakespeare, Goethe and especia lly By ron. When in 
Bordeaux, a Swiss friend took him to see a representation 
of Schiller's Kabalc unci Liebe, which made a profound 
impression on his mind. Before his return to Buenos 
Aires, his interest in Byron's poetry led him to make a 
short visit to England in 1829. He arrived in Argentina, 
May, 1830. Warmly received there, he published a few 
gratulatory verses and then withdrew from public inter- 
course to work on a poem which was published in 1832, 
entitled Elvira la novia del Plata. The public was too 
violently agitated by politics to give much attention to 
this production, but his next volume of verse, Los Con- 
suelos, made their author imme diately popular. __ 


Los Consuelos are short poems in the Byronic manner. 
The romantic pose maintained throughout the collection 
was new to readers in Argentina and delighted them. 
The author explains the title by the words: "They solaced 
my grief and have been my only consolation in days of 
bitterness." The practice which he adopted from Byron 
of heading each poem by a quotation gives an excellent 
clue to their contents and character. For the entire col- 
lection he chose two lines from Auzias March which, after 
quoting in the original Catalan, he gave in the Spanish 
of Luis de Leon: 

Let no one see my writings who is not sad, or who at some 
time has not been sad. 

From Byron he selected. 

Fare thee well ! and if forever, 
Still forever, fare thee well! 

to head the poem entitled Lara o la Partida. The name 
Lara was the poet's romantic disguise. Taken boldly 
from Byron, it expressed the loneliness of heart that 
characterized the original of the English poem. As Eche- 
verria was hurt by the indifference of the public towards 

his hrst volume, he withdrew from Buenos Aires to the 

little village of Mercedes on t he Rio Negro. T he poem 
Lara voices his adieu. After describing the departure 
of the vessel, the poet is moved to sing because he "re- 
members the injuries of fate," he calls on hope and bids 
good-by to love, but as his tears choke him, he is forced 
to desist. The most origipal poem of the collection is, 
El y Ella, a love dialogue which especially delighted the 
young ladies of Buenos Aires. The form of this poem 




departs frDiii all classic staiulards as the strophes vary 
in Icnpth from twcntj-four lints to a single line of passion- 
ate utterance. The volume also contained several pa- 
triotic appeals which exjm,ssed th^ j eelings orihe p ubTTc" 
at the moment and helped to ar ouse enthusiasm. 

The Success of t his volume encouraged Echeverria to 

bring out m 1817. Las Rimas. Besides short pieces it 

contained a long poem, La Cautiva, which put into prac- 
tice a doctrine previously expressed by the author, in a 
note to Los Consuelos. Poet ry, he declared, does n ot 
enjoy in America th e inHuence which it possesses in 
Lurope. '^It It wishes to gain influence, it must have an 
onginal character of its own, reflecting the golors of the 
physical nature which surrounds us and be the most 
el evated expression of our predominant ideas and oP tKe 
sentiments and passions which spring from the shock of 

our social interests. Only thus, free from the bonds of 
^ all foreign influence, will our poetry come to be as sub- 
lime as the Andes; strange, beautiful and varied as the~ 
, fertile earth, which produces it." 

As a preface to La Cautwa, he wrote: "The main pur- 
pose of the author has been to paint a few outlines of the 
poetical character of the desert; and in order not to reduce 
his work to a mere description, he has placed in the v ast 
|j solitude of the pampa two ideal beings, or two souls 
" united by the double bond of love and misfortune. The 
desert is our richest patrimony and we ought to try and 
draw from its breast not only wealth for ou r well-being, 
but also poetr>" for our moral pleasure and the encourage- 
_ mcnt o f our literature." Thus Echeverria first expressed 
adoctrine which Spanish .Americans have generally felt. 


to be true and according to which, consciousl y or other - 
wise, they have produced in literature, whatever is reall y 

The first scene of La Cautiva is laid in the camp of a 
band of Indians after their raid on a village of whites. 
Exhausted by their exertions and the drunken orgies of 
celebration, the savages fall asleep. The silence of the. 
Argentine pampa creeps upon them and their captives. 
Most important of these is Brian, formerly a scourge of 
the Indians, now bound between two lances awaiting 
death by torture. His wife Maria, however, is not bound; 
for upon her the Indian cacique, Loucoi, had cast lustful 
glances. When sleep furnishes the opportunity, Maria 
plunges a dagger into Loucoi's heart. In the same way 
marking a bloody path through the band of sleeping 
savages, she reaches the spot where her husband is bound, 
cuts him loose and together they escape. But they are 
hardly gone before a band of horsemen surprise the camp, 
slay the Indians and free the captives; though to their 
sorrow, the rescuers are unable to find Brian and his 
wife. In the meantime the latter are straining limbs and 
nerves to put a great distance between them and their 
former captors. Brian, however, travels with difficulty 
on account of his wounds. As they are resting, they see 
a cloud of smoke swiftly approaching. The pampa is 
afire. Brian, scarcely able to stir, begs his wife to save 
herself; but she sturdily places her husband on her back, 
makes her way to the neighboring river, and swims to 
safety on the opposite bank. Such heroism, nevertheless, 
is vain for on the following day Brian is attacked by 
fever and dies. Maria sets out alone to cross the pampa. 


and soon meets a detachment of soldiers, who were search- 
ing lor her and Ikian. Of them she incjiiires deliriously 
for her son and though she herself had related his murder 
to her husband, she expires when the soldiers tell her 
that her son had been killed. 

The literary significance oi La Cauti va lies in its revolu- 
tionar)' dep arture in for m from the classic Spanish ideal 
and the author's success in carrying out his p urpose. 
The Argentine critic , J. M. Guti errez, writes tha t "La 
Cautiva is a masterpiece, whose perspectives give the 

most complete idea of the sunburnt immensity of the 

Echeverrla, taking^dvantage^of the pres tige which 

his verses had brought him, plunged b oldly into p olitics 
by launchi ng a sort of secret societ y, "La Asociacio n de 
Mayo," in June, \^'\7, w hich h ad . f o r it^ o b je c t to bring 
about the fall of Rosa s. The main principles of the society 
w ere expou nded by Echeverria in a pamphl et entitle d" 
El Dogma socialista. Despite the name th e tone of the 
ideas was not so much socialistic as democratic after the 

manner of contemporary Fpench writings. 

When news of this secret society reached Rosas* ears, 
the dictator lost little time in sending his agents to sup- 
press it. Echeverria took refuge in the country at some 
distance from the city. Then occurred a rising against 
Rosas among the landed proprietors in the south of the 
province of Buenos Aires. Being few in number they 
could not long withstand his soldiers though those who 
escaped after the battle which they fought took ship for 
Montevideo where they joined the forces of General 
Lavalle. The heroism of the upequaL conflict— inspired 

Echeverria to compose a poem La Instirreccion del sud^ 

de la Provincia de Buenos Aires en iSjg. The poem is 
merely a rhymed c hronicle of e vents. Whatever embeP" 
lishments the author may have intended to make had to 
be omitted because he left the manuscript behind when 
the approach of Rosas' men caused his hasty flight. It 
was ten years before the manuscript was recovered and 
the poem published. Echeverria's second place of refuge 
was Montevideo. 

In that city he was merely one of many refugees. As 
he suffered severely from an affection of the heart he was 
unable to take physical part in the armies that set out 
against Rosas. Moreover, he appeared to his fellows as a 
visionary. His pen, however, was not idle. Among his 
first poems were two of patriotic character published under 
the title of Cantos a Mayo. Then borrowing from Byron's 
Parisina the principal episode, that of the wronged hus- 
band who learns from his wife's lips as she talks in her 
sleep the story of her adultery and nevertheless flees from 
the room without carrying into effect his impulse to kill, 
Echeverria adapted it to an Argentine environment. 
First called La Guitarra, the poem was afterwards named 
from the guilty lady Celia. A very long continuation 
or sequel of this poem in eleven cantos and eleven thousand 
lines was published after the poet's death with the title 
El Angel caido. Its literary value is correctly characterized 
by Menendez y Ve Jay o thus: — "ITIs^not the fall o^ aiT 
angel but the fall of a poet. " The theme is a present a tion 
of Don juan in Argentine society, but he is not a person 
for he has become an abstraction expressing the author's 
moral and political jdeas. 


Better and more interesting at least in its descriptive 
part is another long poem, Avellaneda, intended to cele- 
brate the heroism of a man by that name who died in the 
struggle against Rosas. 1 he scene is laid in the province 
of ruciima n. In de picting i ts na tural beauties F^ch everria 
again demonstrat ed his prmciples concerning th e Ame ri- 
canization of li terat ure. The political element of the 
poem is of course less attract ive. 

These two peculiarities dominate all Argentine litera- 

ture, and as Echeyerria put them forth as a sort of theory 

of aesthetics, it may be said that his influence has pre- 
vailed during most of the century. The Americanization 

of literature which he advocated in a note to the Cautiva 

had a long and varied development in Argentina and 

» found in other countries at the advent of naturalism a 

responsive echo. And h is conception of poetry as a moral 

or civilizing agent became the literary creed of later 
romanticists . 

The Argentines w^ho fled from the tyranny of Rosas 
may be roughly divided into two groups, those who found 
refuge in Chile and those who preferred Montevideo. 
The stor>' of the literary activities of the former in Chile 
on account of their undeniable influence in that country 
belongs with the history of Chilean literature. The 
exiles had to earn a precarious living by their pens, but 
they were personally more secure than their compatriots 
in Uruguay. The latter remained in the thick of the fight 
where a sudden shift of fortune would have thrown them 
into Rosas' hands. For nine years his army and fleet 
maintained a siege of Montevideo from 1841 to 1850. 
In the latter year General Urquiza deserting the tyrant 


brought his forces to join the league against him. In 
1852 occurred the battle of Monte Caseros which termi- 
nated Rosas' power. 

During the period of the great sie ge Montevideo was 
the center of Argentine lett ers, and th e ir main theme 
anathema of Rosas. The foremost wielder of political 
jflvective was Jose Marmol (1818-81 ). At the age of 
twenty he found himself in prison as a conspirator. On 
the walls of his cell he scribbled in a quatrain his first 
denunciation of the tyrant in which he declared that the 
"barbarian" could never put shackles on his mind. The 
quatrain became Marmol's favorite vehicle of expression 
for his passionate hate. Tbe sin cerity, the variety, and 
the intensity of his quatrains rendered them famouS^^ 
Making Rosas second only to Satan in his capacity for 
evil, they depict hTm m ore EToodstained than AttH a or" 
Nero, bloodguilt ier than the Atridae, b loodthirstier than " 
a ravening tiger. 

For the clas s of readers that prefer facts to objurgation 
Marmol prepared Amalia, i n form supposedly a historica T^ 

novel after the man ner of Walter Scott , b ut more exact ly- 
a /detailed account o f Rosas* c rimes so presented as t a_\ 
show the moral degradation of Buenos Aires. Many 
episodes are introduced solely for this purpose. For 
example, Rosas demonstrates to the crowd his democratic 
ideals by compelling his daughter to receive the kisses of 
a rum-crazed negro. The description of the state ball 
gives an opportunity to reveal the character of the persons 
who form Rosas' immediate entourage, their base flattery, 
the vulgar conversation of the ladies. The narrative 
part of the story concerns principally the acts of a Daniel 


Bclld, himst'If opposed to R(is;is but protected in his 
operations because he is the son of one of Rosas' adherents. 
Thouph carrying on various intrigues and acting as a spy 
for those who arc plotting in Montevideo for an uprising, 
Daniel remains unsuspected. When his friend Eduardo 
Belgrano ventures into Buenos Aires on a mission, Daniel 
is able to save his life even after Eduardo has been severely 
wounded and left for dead by the police by concealing 
him in Amalia's house. She is Daniel's cousin. She takes 
so much interest in the patient that she falls in love with 
him. The book ends with a description of their wedding 
night. Its festivities are interrupted by the police who 
break in for the purpose of arresting Eduardo and who 
kill him. 

The novel Amalia met with a large sale in Europe. 
Menendez y Pelayo explains this fact in his criticism. 
After pointing out that the story is so strange as to be 
unreal, that one involuntarily asks how such a social 
condition could endure so long, he says, "The interest of 
the narration is very great and one drops~the buuk ic- 
luctantly." '< 

Marmol further utilized his experiences and sensations 
as an exile in c omjK)sing^ a long poem, El Peregrino. It is 
not complete, but many of the fragments possess great 

lyrical beauty. 1 he main idea of the poem is that of a 
Childe Harold in South America. With descriptive pas- 
sages concerning the clouds, the tropical sunset, the 
beauties of America, Marmol mingles the expression of 
his feelings, his love for his wife, his religious faith, his 
grief at the condition of his native land, the joy of loving 
even in the midst of grief. 


The drama also tempted Marmol. Litt le praise is 
accorded, however, to the two dramas which he wrote, 

El Cruzado and El Poeta. The latter deals with the love 

affairs of Carlos and Maria. Carlos, being a poet, is 
poor and therefore turned away from Maria by her father. 
Nevertheless the lovers continue to communicate even 
after Carlos is thrown into prison for writing political 
articles against the government. When Maria learns 
that Carlos is to be exiled, she prevails on her father to 
use his influence to secure the poet's release. In return 
she promises to marry Don Enrique. The fifth act of 
the play opens with the wedding ceremony. After the 
vows have been pronounced, Carlos appears at the house 
and gains entrance to Maria's room, where he succeeds 
in calling her for an interview. Reproached by her lover 
for inconstancy, she tells him that she has taken poison. 
Then Carlos obtains some of the same poison and swallows 
it. She dies in his embrace, but Carlos lives long enough 
to hurl curses at the unhappy- father. 

AnQther Argentine exile and knight of the pen in th e 
struggle against Rosa s was Jose Rivera Indarte (1814-45). 
At the early age of twenty-one, he suffered incarceration 
for the expression of his opinions. \Vhile in prison t he 
reading of the B ible and Da nte dete rminpfl thf> gtyl^^r^ 
his poems wh ich he bega n to wri te then. A fter his release 
he took ship for North America. During the voyage he 
fell sick with an attack of smallpox. Being isolated and 
neglected, it was a marvel that he lived to reach Salem, 
Massachusetts. When news came to him of the emigra- 
tion of his friends to Montevideo he set sail for that port 
where he began to write for El Nacional. His attack on 



Rosas developed the thesis that it would be a saintly 
action to kill the tyrant. His articles being largely de- 

^ script ive of cruel deeds were pu blish ed in book form under 
the ti tle Rosa s v sus Opositorc -s and had great influenc-c 

^ in shaping foreign public opinion. .His poems, published 
after his untimely death, from consumption contracted 
during the s hatte red state of his health, contain some 
political sa tires in the st yle of Marmol but without th e 
latter's force. His patriotic hymns of the Argentine emi- 
grants and to Lavall e are more convincing. In his ode 
on the battle of Caaguazu he introduced an apparition of 
General Belgra no similar to the apparition of the Inca 
[fi Qlmedo's fam ous ode . But many of his poems are 
Biblical paraphrases or imitations collected under the 
title of Melodias hebraicas , which, however, are rather 
prosaic without poetic fire. 

Far better as poetry were the verses of C laudio Mam erto . 
Cuenca (1812-^2), killed at the battle of Monte-Caseros 
where Rosas was overthrown. He was a surgeon whom 
circumstances had compelled to remain in Buenos Aires 
as well as later to serve with the tyrant's army. His 
reputation among the patriots, however, was saved by 
the verses penned before the battle and found on his 
body. After bitter denunciation they declared that the 
hour of Rosas' purging had arrived. Cuenca's literary 
remains were published in three volumes under the title 

^ _of Delirios del Corazon. Besid e many lyrical pieces of 
^considerab le inspiration he was the author of Don Tadeo, 
a comedy of manners in five acts and a drama, Muza. 

In the army that defeated Rosas there commanded the 
artillery a y oung man of thi rty, Bartolor he Mitr e (18 21- 



Qo6), who af terw^ards proved himself to p ossess one of 
the strongest and sanest intellects in Argentina. A cap- 
tain at the age of seventeen in the first siege of Monte- 
video, he rose rapidly in rank. The year 1848, however, 
found him in Chile where he showed that he could wield 


a pen as well as a sword b y editing the Mercurio de F al- 
■ paraiso. Among his companions in Montevideo he w as 
known also as a poet . 

What Echeverria said of Mitre's verses in 1846 is 
interesting: "His muse is distinguished among his con- 
temporaries by the manly frankness of his sentiments 
and a certain martial quality." Now listen to Mitre's 
own comment when editing his poems in later days: "I 
love my verses because they reflect some of those intense 
sorrows and some of those solemn moments of the revolu- 
tion against the tyrant Rosas. I have another reason 
for hating Rosas and the publication of these rhymes is 
my revenge. On account of him I have had to bear arms, 
travel the country, become a politician, and plunge into 
the stormy course of revolutions without being able to 
follow my literary vocation." 

Mitre's poems were nearly all written before 1846. 
They poss ess high literary and lyricaTqualities. In the 
elegies on the deaths oi certain mdividuals, iS "General 
Lavalle, who had fallen in the civil war, there is a display 
of real feeling which surpasses that of his contemporaries. 
Qne of his anti-Rosas pieces became a popular song. The 
title Invdlido refers to the old^ veteran who recites the 
story of his services to the country before begging "una 
limosna por Dios," The last stanza is the poet's own 
plaint in this wise: . 



La Repi'il)lica Argt-nrma 
Bajo el yugo de un tirano 
Pide al mundo anifricano 
Una liniosna por Dios! 

One section of Mitre's Rimas is devoted to Arnionias 
d<^ la Pampa. Therein he shows himsel f a disciple of 
Kchcverria by seeking inspiration in nature, or national 

customs. El Ombii en tne'dio dd la Pampa reveals a rare 

love for trees. El Pato describes a gaucho game by that 
name. In fact he is one of the first to attempt a poetical 
t reatment of th e Argentine gauc ho by telling the le gend 
of the famou s Santo s \'ega . Again he sings El Caballo del 
Gaucho with all the enthusiasm and love for horses which 
he himself undoubtedly felt. 

His reason for ceasing to wTite poems is interesting. 
He says: "At twenty years of age, I dreamed of immortal 
renown; the laurels of Homer robbed me of sleep. Soon 
I understood that I could not even aspire to live in the 
memor>' of more than one generation as a poet nor was 
our society sufficiently mature to produce a poet laureate." 

Politics occupied Mitre a/ter the return to Buenos 
Aires. In the fight of the city against the confederation 
in 1S61, he led the city's military forces. Being successful 
he was proclaimed dictator of the new federation of which 
Buenos Aires became the undisputed seat of the govern- 
ment. To his wisdom and modera tion was due t he fact 
t hat the o ld bitter differences between the city a r m^ttT g- "* 
p rovinces lapsed to the po int of disappearance. In 1865 
he led the Argentine forc es in the war a gains t Solano 

Lopez, dictator of Paraguay. In 1868 his term as presi- 

dent came to an end, and D. F. Sarm iento was quie tly 


elecft ed and inaugurated. Though Mitre was twice again 
a candidate for the presid ency and leader oF insurg ent " 
forges, his main b usinesf in life w as Hterary . 

ja 1869 Mitre founded La Nacion, to-da y on e of die 
,^^ding newspapers in/the countr y. His Hist oria de Bel- ^ 
gjfano, originally put^ished in 185 8, he improved an3^ 
Brought out in neW editions. His monumental wor k, "" 
however, was La HiMor ia de San Martin, p rinted in 188 8. 

- It was such a history as one great soldier could write pf 
', anothe r. 
/ During Mitre's adm i nistration as p resident ^h ere w as 

/ nrmfh literary activity in Bu enos Aires^ T l^ree literary _ 

jourtfals, La Revista argentina, El Correo del Do minzo^ 

and La Revista de Buenos Aires, flourished. The last 
""HTrected by Vicente G. Quesada and Miguel Navarro 
Viola was the official organ of an influential literary so- 
ciety, the Circulo literario, among whose members were 
numbered nearly everybody of prominence in the city. 
The study of Argentine history absorbed much of their 
att ention, and occupied more than half the p a ges of the^ ]]^ 

A contributor was Luis L. Dominguez (1819-98), 

whose historical studies were later pr inted as Histor ia 
argentina, covering the pe riod from the discovery ^ "* 
America to the beginning o f the revolution a gainst Spa m. 
Among his fellow exiles in Montevideo he made himself 
remarked for his verses, especially those which he pre- 
sented at the famous literary contest of 184 1. In verses 
of a romantic type he quite caught the spirit of the master 
Echeverria. And . a descriptive poem of his, El Ombu , 
has remained a classic o f Argentine po etry. Ab out that 


shade tree Dominguez made the whole of ArgentirtP hfe 
revolve. The opening stanza of the poem, perhaps little 
more than a jingle, is known by heart by every scbool 

Cada comarca en la tierra 
Tiene un rasgo prominente: 
El Brasil su sol ardiente, 
Minas de plata el Peru, 
Montevideo su cerro, 
Buenos Aires, patria hermosa, 
Tiene su pampa grandiosa; 
La pampa tiene el Ombii. 

Dominguez, during Mitre's administration, held im- 

portant governmental positions and later rose to promi- 
nence in t he diplomatic ser vice of his country. 

Another historical writer of the same group was Vicente j 
Fidel Lopez (i 8 1 g-190.3), son of the author of t he Ar- 

gentine na tional hv mn. His Manual d e Historia^arjentina 
became the s tandard text-b ook for schools. His place 
of refuge from the tyr anny of Rosas was Chile where he 
was one of the Arg entine journalists so influential in the 
l iterar>^ histor>' o f that country. There he collected the 
material for some historical novels which were numbered 

among the first of the kind t o be written by Arg entines. 
At one time a fellow exile wi th Lopez in Chile w as Juan 

Bautista Alberdi (1810-84), ^ rnost voluminous: and 
influential Argentine writer. When a youth of fifteen 
he was given one of the public scholarships at the Colegio 
de Ciencias morales founded by Rivadavia whose fore- 
sight recognized the value of education in a democracy. 
Being a member of the Asociacion de Mayo in 1837 he 



was obliged to seek Safety from Rosas by flight. In Monte- 
video he completed his studies for the doctorate of law. 
At the same tim^ he was active in journalistic work by 
jvriti ng humo rous d escriptiv e ar ticles of manners and 
by contributing to the comic sheet, illustrated by carica 

tures, Muera Rosas, one of t he many forms of attack on 
tHg^tyrant. In 1843 Alberdi went to Europe on a ship 
^amed the "Eden" and in fantastic prose wrote out im - '*' 
pressions of the voyage which he proudly published as a 
poem with the same name. But his enduring r eputation 
is due to a critical exam inati on of Argentine history a nd 
the suggestions for a suita b le form of government fo r the 
country contained in his B ases para la Organizaci6n ~3?\^ 
la Repuhlica Argentina. 

This book was wntterTin Chile after his return from 
Europe while the final campaign against Rosas was being - 
waged by ^eneral Urgui^a. When a congress rnet~aFter"~^ 
Rosas' overthrow for the purpose of preparing a consti- 
tution for the republic, the Bases directed the otherwise 
conflicting and vague ideas of its members along logical 
lines so that Alberdi's sug gesti ons became to all in tents 
the consti tution of t he A rge ntine republic. A curious~^~^ 
synchronism of events has been noted herewith. In May, 
1 85 1, General Urquiza declared his revolution against 
Rosas and began to prepare his campaign. In May, 1852, 
Alberdi's book came from the press. In May, 1853, the 
constitutional convention voted the constitution. The 
foreign reader should remember that May is the glorious 
month of Argentine history, for the twenty-fifth is the 
national holiday. 

A rgentina's indebt edness ^jto—Ajberdi was recognized 


two years later by a decree o f the government to dep osit 
in the national archives certai n of his writings signed 
with his autograph and to print at public expense an 

edit ion of his work s. Alberdi was entrusted with impor- 
tant diplomatic missions in Kuropc, but he did not 
aKvays meet the views oFliis compatriots respecting their 
TorcTgrTpoTTcyl His later years were spent f or the most 
^part in Europe in the diligent production of political 
a nd economic writin gs. 

.Among the expatriate d Argentines the one who becam e 
t he most thorough ma n of let ters w^as Ju an Maria Gutier- 
rez (1809-7S). W ith Echevcrria and Alberdi he was ac- 
tive in the Asociacion de Mayo and suffered three months* 
imprisonment in Rosas' jails before going into exile. Gu- 
tierrez was initiated by Echeverria into his literary as 
well as his p olitical ide als, for within a ye ar after the pub- 
lication of La Cautiva, Gutierrez wrote Los Amores del 

Payador, a lo ng poem closely following the master's 
doctrine of the Americanization of literature of which 
he remained an ardent advocate. In Montevideo in 1841, 
Gutierrez distinguished himself by winning the first prize 
in a literary contest by an ode, La Revolucion de Mayo. 
It is praised by Mencndez y Pclayo because it "departs 
greatly from the current vulgarity of the patriotic odes," 
though at the same time the Spanish critic is very im- 
patient with the poet for his anti-Spanish expressions. 

^Refinement and good taste, however, ar e the marks of 

Gutierrez* poems. 

In 1S46 Gutierrez published a collection of the poems 
written by S p anish Americans w-i t j^t he J\x\}ij^ Am'erica_ 
Poetica. Its purpose of attra cting the attention of Euro- 


' peans undoubtedly suc ceeded. In the matter of taste in 
selection subsequent collections have not excelled it. 

Gutierrez passed a part of his period of exile in Chile 
and Peru where he materially broadened his knowledge 
of literature. In Chile, he was one of the group ©f Argen- 
tine exiles who were promment in writing tor the rieWS- 

V7 papers. — --« 

After the fall of Rosas, Gutierrez participated in poli- 
tics! He was a prominent member of the constitutionaT" 
convention of 1853. And as minister of foreign affairs 
he negotiated an important treaty with Spain. Recogni- ^ 
tion of Gutierrez' scholarship led to his appointment as 
rector of the University of Buenos Aires, a post which 
he held for many years. 

Gutierrez' interest in literary studies and his contri- ^ 
b utions to the Revista de Buenos Aires made it one^ £the 
most important r e views in America . Afterwards printed 
in book form his Bibliografia de la primera Imprenta de 
Buenos Aires and the Estudios hiogrdficos y criticos sobre 
algunos Poetas anteriores al Siglo XIX made his name 
widely known among scholars. The presentation of a 
copy of the latter to George Ticknor was the origin of 
some interesting correspondence between the two men. 
^To the end of his life G utierrez pnrniimgprl thp prndnrti^^^^ 
of literature, as is evident by the many int roductions us u- 
.^ ally enthusiastic in tone which he wrote to accompa ny 
the volumes of young e r men. From 1871 to 1877 he con- 
ducted with V. F. Lopez the Revista del Rio de la Plata 
whose pages were the medium of publication for their 
literary and historical studies. 
y Among the enemies of Ros as the man who most nearly 




approache d p ositiv e geniu s wa s Domingo Faustino Sar- 
mient o (1811-8S). T his fact is partly recognized in the 
epithet, "loco Sarmiento," by which Rosas' official 
journal in Buenos Aires was accustomed to refer to him. 
^is individuality was as u ncommon as his intelligence. 
From almost a bsolute indigence he rose by personal en- 
deavor to be president of the Argentine Republic. His 

schooling was limited to a few years in a primary school, 
but he utilized every means falling to his command to 
extend his education. One of the books which came into 
his possession about the age of sixteen was the auto- 
biography of Benjamin Franklin who thereafter became 
his model. 

The vicissitudes of his career began at about the same 
age. Having been summoned to attend military drill by 
the governor of his province, he refused and soon there- 
after joined an uprising against the party in power. As 
the result of this act, after barely escaping with his life, 
he found himself an exile in Chile. 
^^ The peculiarity of Sarmiento's politi cs resided in the 


W fact that he was a provincial partisa n of the citizens of 
Buenos Aires who were demanding a strongly centralized 

government wit h the city at the head. In fact after the 
return from his first exile, he b ecame a member of a branch 
% ^ of Echeverria's Asociacion de Mayo. On the other hand 
Rosas represented the federalistic theory which accorded 
practical autonomy to the provinces, each ruled by a 
governor. Though nominally appointed by the govern- 
ment at Buenos Aires, these governors were local political 
bosses or caudillos, who like bandit chieftains were able 
by personal strength to maintain their positions. Con- 


sequently risings in the provinces though theoretically 
in support of the centralizing tendencies of the unitarian 
party were really directed against the local caudillo. The 
results of such fights were usually decisive, because the 
defeated were slaughtered or driven into exile. Sarmiento 
belonged in the province of San Juan, situated just below 
the Andes mountains through whose passes he more than 
once journeyed into safety in Chile. 

The full story of Sarmiento's participation in the fighting 
in his own country and his efforts to earn a living in Chile 
is needless here. In regard to the latter it is sufficient to 
say that teaching school a nd writing for the papers wer e 
the most important at the time and in their results on his 

subsequent life. His readiness to enter into a controversy 
and the biting character of his cleve r sati re m ade him^^ \" 
many enemie s. But a Chilean politician, Manuel Montt, 
afterwards president of Chile, not only made use of his 
brilliant journalistic ability but also stuck by Sarmiento 
through thick and thin. Sarmiento's role, in the outburst 
of literary activity, which followed his criticism of Andres 
Bello's poem on El Incendio de la Compania is elsewhere 

This preceded the establishment of the University pf 
Chile of which Bello was appointed the first rector, while 
Sarmiento was given a place in the faculty orplTilosophy 
and humanities. At the first session of the faculty, he read 
a paper proposing certain changes in spelling Spanish 
which were later adopted. Partly to Sarmiento's initiative 
as well as to Bello's s cholars hip is due the fact that, of all "^ 
c ountries where Spanish is spoken, Chile has the credit of 
' See page 198. 



introducing reforms in orthoRrnphy. S;irmiento also 
interested himself in the introduction in the primary 
schools of improved methods of teaching children how to 
read^ And at the instance of Montt he was made the 
principal of the newly established normal school. By the 
year 1845, however, the political situation claimed all his 
time for the editing of El Progreso in support of his patron 
Montt. Then appeared as daily articles the subst ance of 
the b ook to which Sarmien to chiefly owes his literary 
fame, Facundo la Cimlizacion y la Barbaric. 

Xhis book, no m i nally t he biography of Facundo Quiroga , 

^t he caudillo lie uten ant of Rosas , perf orms for the latter's 
re gime the same damnatory service as Marmol's verses. 
Perhaps it was even more widely known. As the articles 
were promptly reprinted in Montevideo, it is not impossi- 
ble that they suggested to Marmol his treatment of Rosas 
in the celebrated novel Avialia published five or six years 
later. Facundo Quiroga had been active in Sarmiento's 
native province and it was to escape death at his hands 
that Sarmiento had first taken the road to Chile at the 
age of twenty.. The tale of Qui roga' s atrocities occupies 

" o nly the central par t of the book by way o f illustrati on to 
t he economic and political principles developed in fhp 
remainder. The opening chapters are devoted to a de- 

^cription of the Argentine country, both brilliant and 

j nasterful, and to the student of Argentine history indis- 

pensablc. The concluding chapters give a n exposition of 

Sarmi ento's political ideas which undoubtedly assisted in 

l iaising him to the presidency of the republi c. 

The physical conditions of the Argentine, the isolation^ 
and primitive ignorance of the gaucho, his belief in force 


as the only means of overcoming the difficulties of l ife, 

his consequent contempt for a civilization based on in --^ 
^elligence, are the causes, accordi ng to Sarmiento, of soc ial 
anarchy in that country. The gaucho thus typifies bar- 
b arism in strife with civilization exemplified by the city oT 
Buenos Ai res. Without the support of the local caudillos, 
such as Facundo Quiroga, a tyranny like that of Rosas 
would be impossible. But even Rosas face to face with 
the difficulties of government was obliged to practice 
unitarian principles, "though the label on the bottle said 
differently." The Argentine Republic without rivers and 
mountains to mark natural boundaries can "be only one 
and indivisible." §o thoug ht Sarmiento in^iS ^i;, but afte r 
w ider exper i ence from hi s travels in the Uni te d Rtates jie 
became a champion of the federal principle which finally ^ 

prevailed in Argentina . 

Sarmiento, believing that his book Facundo would ope n 
a way for him in E urope, desir ed to visit it. In thi s pur- 
pose he was assisted by his staunch friend Manuel Montt, 
who procured for him a commissionership ostensibly for 
the purpose of studying European schools with a view of 
finding possible reforms for Chilean schools. Throughout 
his European tour Sarmiento industriously made inspec- 
tion of educational systems of which he published an 
interesting report, De la Educacion popular. But fronT 
the point of view of literature "h js book published at the ^ 
same time, Viajes -por Eu ropa, Afri ca y America is m ore 
i mportant an d interesting. The latter was widely re- "" 
produced in various journals. It consists of a series of 
brilliant pictures arranged to suit the political ideas of the 
writer but drawn with such clearness of detail that the 


unbiased reader may examine them with pleasure. He 
portrays Kranee regenerated by its great revokitiDn and 
placed at the head of humanity; on the other hand, Spain 
hes prostrate amid the artistic ruins of her former splen- 
dor; the future, however, belongs to the rising culture 
of North America. The anti-Spanish character of this 
book called forth a reply from a satirical writer, then 
popular in Spain, Juan Martinez Villergas who at- 
tempted to counteract its effect by a pamphlet, Sarmen- 
ticido a mal Sarmiento. r?iir puf fing a<;iHp tbp pr^. 
litical reflections, S armie nto's Fiajes is of its kind good 

After an ab sence of three years, Sarmie nto re turned to 
C hile by way of North America and Cuba. Political 
il affairs in Argentina were beginning to look toward the 
1: fall of Rosas. Sarmiento attacked him so vigorously in 
II the press, that Rosas called on the Chilean government to 
forbid Sarmiento the right to continue his activity, a 
request which was promptly refused^ Sarmiento replied 
by a pamphlet, discussing the form of government suitable 
for the country after Rosas' fall. Sarmiento was plain ly 
endeavoring to make himsel f a central figure in any re- 
construction of the go v ernment. T o further this pur- 
pose he published, Recuerdos de Provincia, a series of 
sketches and anecdotes about himself, his parents, rela- 
tives and friends. The student of literature must 
recognize th e life like qua lit y of his ch^T i\cten7.:^t\an 
equal in many respec ts to Addison's famous De Cov- 
■ l - erlev papers. Jo Sarmiento's nu merous enemies, the 
book seemed only a nother in stance of the man's over-_ 
whelming vanity, — so great, according to the Chilean 


Benjamin Vicuna Mackenna, that the whole pampa woul d 
hot hold it.^ 


Accordingly when General Jose Urquiza, the caudillo of 
the province of Entre Rios, hitherto the strongest sup- 
porter of Rosas, raised the banner of revolt, Sarmiento 
joined his army. General Urquiza, however, after the 
victory at Monte Caseros, disappointed his followers by 
continuing on his own account the personal government of 
his predecessor. Sarmiento returned to Chile once more 
to engage in journalism. But his stay was short, for 
when Buenos Aires rebelled successfully against Urquiza, 
Sarmiento came again to the city. .E jQm 1855, he played a^ 
prominent part in politics. After the battle of Pavon 

whfere Mitre's defeat of Urquiza decided for all time the 
question of constitutional government for the Argentine, 
Sarmiento was sent to the outlying provinces as auditor 
general of the armies , a position which gave him g reat^ 
influence . It helped him to become governor of his nat ive 
province of San Juan to which office he was elected in 
February, 1862. He became so arbitrary and independent 
that he worried the central go vernm ent at Buenos Aire s. 
President Mitre solved the diffic ulty b y appointing hjm 
ambassador to Ch ile and later min ister to the United 
States. While in th e latter country in 1 8 67 he was 
electe d to the presidency of Argen tina. 

Sarmiento's administration was marked in the matter 
of progress by the completion of the railroad from Rosario 
to Cordoba, an event which was celebrated by an exposi- 
tion in Cordoba. The President's journey thither was a 
continuous ovation because among the provincials, if 
^ "su vanidad no cabe en toda la Pampa." 

ar(;fntina 131 

not in Buenos Aires, he was popular. At his suggestion 
also a naval academy was ft)un(led and three vessels of 
war purchased. He caused to be put in effect the clause 
of the constitution calling for the establishment of a 
national Argentine Bank. 

On the other hand, his administration was harassed by 
the outbreak in Entre Rios of two uprisings by the cau^ 
dillo Lopez Jordan who had assassinated the old leader 
General Urquiza. The second time Sarmiento proposed 
to deal with the outlaw in the manner followed in the 
United States at the time ofp^inc oln's as sassination,.utz<^i»< 
namely, by putting a heavy price on the bandit's head.O^^'^A' j 
The proposition was rejected by the Congress and byi uu^uZ 
public opinion on the ground that it was an inalienable 
right of a man of Spanish race to start a rebellion and 
therefore it would be wrong to treat him like a criminal. 
Lopez Jordan replied to Sarmiento by hiring some Italian 
sailors to murder him, an attempt which happily failed. 
Sarmiento, on account of the rigidity of his character, 
was not popular, but his a dministra ti on was cer tai nly 
an era of progress./ 

Though Sarmiento retired from the presidency in 1874 
he did not withdraw from public life. It is needless to 

follow his various activities here. It is sufficient to call 
attention to the fact that his interest in the cause of popu- 
lar education was still predominant, and among other 
offices held by him he was the first national superin- 
tendent of Argentine schools, and effected many reforms. 
In recognition of the courtesies shown Sarmiento in the 
United States, especially in Boston, where he imbibed 
many of his ideas about schools from acquaintance with 


Horace Mann, the Argentine government in 1913 pre- 
sented that city with a statue of their great educator and 
former president. 

The statue is also a symbol of the growth after his 
death of the appreciation by his countrymen of Sarmien- 
to's services to his country. In his lifetime his advocacy 
of various North American ideas was resented and most 
of those whose adoption he forced were discarded. In 
the judgment of Paul Groussac, the able librarian of the 
National Library at Buenos Aires, Sarmiento is, in the 
Emersonian sense, "the repres entati ve man of t he Sout 
American mtellect''; and "tne most genuine an? 

joyable writer_pf South America, the rude and_5ilice re 
colorist of his native plni ns?^ 

Though the officially printed collection of Sarmiento's 
writings fill fifty volumes, his literary fame is based on 
those already mentioned. The characteristics of his style, 
its swift movement, his ability to select the striking detail 
or apt anecdote, may be partly illustrated by the follow- 
ing extract from the description of Argentina in the first 
part of Facundo.^ Moreover, no better introduction could 
be given to a study of the development of the most original 
of all Spanish-American poetry, that pertaining to the 

There is another poetry which echoes over the solitary plains, 
the popular, natural, and irregular poetry of the gaucho. In 
1840, Echeverria, then a young man, lived some months in the 

1 Facundo was translated by Mrs. Horace Mann and published under 
the title of Life in the Argentine Republic in the Time of Tyrants, Boston, 
1868. The volume also contains other extracts from Sarmiento's writ- 
ings, especially from the Recuerdos de Provincia dealing with his family. 


country. wIutc the fame of his verses iipun the pampa had al- 
ready preceded him; tlie gauchos surrounded him with respect 
and affection, and when a new-comer showed symptoms of the 
scorn he felt for the little minstrel, some one whispered, "He is 
a poet," and that word dispelled every prejudice. 

It is well known that the guitar is the popular instrument 
of the Spanish race; it is also common in South America. The 
majo or troubadour is discoverable in the gaucho of the country, 
and in the townsman of the same class. The cielito, the dance 
of the pampas, is animated by the same spirit as the Spanish 
jaleo, the dance of Andalusia; the dancer makes castanets of his 
fingers; all his movements disclose the majo; the action of his 
shoulders, his gestures, all his ways, from that in which he puts 
on his hat, to his style of spitting through his teeth, all are of 
the pure .^ndalusian type. 

The name of gaucho outlaw is not applied wholly as an un- 
complimentary epithet. The law has been for many years in 
pursuit of him. His name is dreaded, spoken under the breath, 
but not in hate, and almost respectfully. He is a mysterious 
personage; his abode is the pampa; his lodgings are the thistle 
fields; he lives on partridges and hedgehogs, and whenever he 
is disposed to regale himself upon a tongue, he lassos a cow, 
throws her without assistance, kills her, takes his favorite morsel, 
and leaves the rest for the carrion birds. The gaucho outlaw 
will make his appearance in a place just left by soldiers, will talk 
in a friendly way with the admiring group of good gauchos around 
him; provide himself with tobacco, yerba mate, which makes 
a refreshing beverage, and if he discovers the soldiers, he mounts 
his horse quietly and directs his steps leisurely to the wilderness, 
not even deigning to look back. He is seldom pursued; that 
would be killing horses to no purpose, for the beast of the gaucho 
outlaw is a bay courser, as noted in his own way as his master. 
If he ever happens to fall unawares into the hands of the soldiers, 
he sets upon the densest masses of his assailants, and breaks 
through them, with the help of a few slashes left by his knife 
upon the faces or bodies of his opponents; and lying along the 
ridge of his horse's back to avoid the bullets sent after him, he 


hastens toward the wilderness, until having left his pursuers at 
a convenient distance, he pulls up and travels at his ease. The 
poets of the vicinity add this new exploit to the biography of 
the desert hero, and his renown flies through all the vast region 
around. Sometimes he appears before the scene of a rustic 
festival with a young woman whom he has carried off, and 
takes a place in the dance with his partner, goes through the 
figures of the cielito, and disappears, unnoticed. Another day 
he brings the girl he has seduced, to the house of her offended 
family, sets her down from his horse's croup, and reckless of the 
parents* curses by which he is followed, quietly betakes himself 
to his boundless abode. 

And now we have the idealization of this life of resistance, 
civilization, barbarism, and danger. The gaucho Cantor corre- 
sponds to the singer, bard, or troubadour of the Middle Ages. 
The Cantor has no fixed abode; he lodges where night surprises 
him; his fortune consists in his verses and in his voice. Wherever 
the wild mazes of the cielito are threaded, wherever there is a 
glass of wine to drink, the Cantor has his place and his particular 
part in the festival. The Argentine gaucho only drinks when 
excited by music and verse, and every grocery has its guitar 
ready for the hands of the Cantor who perceives from afar 
where the help of his "gay science" is needed, by the group of 
horses about the door. 

The Cantor intersperses his heroic songs with the tale of his 
own exploits. Unluckily his profession of Argentine bard does 
not shield him from the law. He can tell of a couple of stabs he 
has dealt, of one or two "misfortunes" (homicides) of his, and 
of some horse or girl he carried off. 

To conclude, the original poetry of the minstrel is clumsy, 
monotonous, and irregular, when he resigns himself to the in- 
spiration of the moment. It is occupied rather with narration 
than with the expression of feeling, and is replete with imagery 
relating to the open country, to the horse, and to the scenes of 
the wilderness, which makes it metaphorical and grandiose. 
When he is describing his own exploits or those of some renowned 
evil-doer, he resembles the Neapolitan improvisatore, his style 



hfinp unfrrtcrcd, commonly prosaic, but occasionally rising to 
the pot-ric level for some moments, to sink again into dull and 
scarcely metrical recitation. The Cantor possesses, moreover, 
a rcperton," of popular poems in octosyllabic lines variously 
combined into stanzas of five lines, of ten, or of eight. Among 
them are many compositions of merit which show some inspira- 
tion and feeling. 

The character whom Sarmiento terms a 'cantor' was more 
popularly known in Buenos Aires as a * payador/ a name 
derived from the verb ' payar ' meaning to improvise in 
verse to the accompaniment of the guitar. As Sarmiento 
intimates, the popular poetry of Argentina is a derivative 
of the Andalusian of the Middle Ages and has a long popu- 
lar development. The episodes related by the payador 
reveal a certain epic quahty: tinged with Moorish, saxlness, 
but t empered by the Andalusian keenness for the satirical 
and the comic, frequent also is thpinrpnT tn tp.-jrh a- 

moral lesson; barba rous at times, for the purpose often 
is to inculcate a spirit of rebellion. 

B. Hidalgo and J. G. Godoy us ed the p opul ar poetr y 
in dialogue form during the revolutionar y epo ch for the 
propaganda of their patrioti c id ea s, but they did not m a ke. __ 
a literary character of the ga uch o. Among the firs t to 
put the ga u cho into cultivated literature was J. M. Gutie r- 
rez whose Amores del Payado r was writ ten in Fe bruary. 
1838. It is worth while to note that this date is only a 
year later than the publication of Echeverria's La Cautiva 
and his suggestion regarding the utilization of Argentine 
sources for the creation of a native literature. Los Amores 
d^l Payador should be ranked high, ^t is t he typical 
gaucho legend. It is full of tr ue poetical feeling. It i s well 
written in good "Castilian. It is highly dramatic. The 


reader is introduced to Juana who is waiting at the door 
of her father's house for her lover, the payador. At last 
he rides up mounted on his swift courser. As he is reciting 
his amorous ditty, a rich suitor for Juana's hand appears. 
The men's words bring on a fight. When Juana tries to 
separate them she is mortally stabbed by the rich man 
who is promptly killed by the payador. Over the corpse 
of his beloved he sings the characteristic mournful gaucho 
lament. Then covering her body with his poncho he 
departs to take up again his wild life in the wilderness. 

About 1844 were written Bartolome Mitre's gaucho 
poems. Among them is the first treatment of the legeTiTi-' 
of Santos Vega, a gaucho who has b een called the spirit 
gf "popular poetry incarnate in a Don Juan of the co un- 
tryside.** S antos Vega was a payador who died of grief 
because he had been beaten in a contest with a young 
amateur in the art of improvisation. Popular report 
asserted that the stranger before whose skill the inspira- 
tion of Santos Vega had failed was no other than the 
Devil. Ten years later after a more realistic represe nta- 
t ion of the gaucho was coming into vogue. Mitre publishe4^ 
f he second edition o f his poems accompanied by an intro- 
ductio n and notes. In them he wrote, "Primitive cus- 
toms have had ma ny singers but almost all have limited 
themselv es t o copyin g them instead of giving the m a 
poetic character. So it is that , in order to make gauc hos 
talk, the poets have used all the gaucho idioms, thus 
r aising a jargon to the rank of poetry. P oetry is not the 
servile copy but the poetic interpretation of nature.** 
^1 hese words are an excellent expression of the two ITii&s 
f^alQng which this class of literature developed. 


During the revolutionary period the gaucho served as a 
mouthpiece (o r the opinit)ns of Hartolonu- Hidalgo to 
whose celebrated dialogues of Chano and Contreras reTer- 

ence has already been fnade. Their realistic form and 
popular idiom served as a mockl for Ililario Ascasubi 
-(1807-75) w hom, some, if not Mitre, have praised for 
his "faithful reproduction of nature." One of Ascasubi's 
earliest pieces was a dialogue between Chano y Contreras 
who are represented as serving together in the trenches 
before Montevideo and conversing on the past glories 
of the country. 

Ascasubi was himself a soldier who had suffered im- 

prisonment at the command of Rosas. After two years 
in a dungeon he learned that the order for his execution 
had been issued, but the connivance of his jailers afforded 
him an opportunity to escape from the prison by dropping 
over the wall into the moat. In Montevideo he was en- 
couraged to write his patriotic verses by^Florencio Varela~ 
then the leading j ournalis t of the city. A t the latter's 
expense thousands of copies of one poem were printed 
and distributed to the soldiers in General Lavalle's army 
as they set out on their campaign against Rosas. This 
poem bore the title of Media Catla del Campo, the name 
of a favorite dance, and was written in a meter which 
allqwed it to be sung to the tempo of the dance. Its 

spirited words were in tended to hearten the soldiers by 
dwell|n^ on the defeat of Rosas at the battle of Cagancha. 
Florencio Vare la (1807-48), younger brother of Juan 
Cruz Varela, w^on the admiration of his contemporar ies 
by his energy and abilities. They sent him to Europe 

to enlist the assistance of England and France at the 


opening of the great siege of Montevideo. There also 
he made a favorable impression of his personality. After 
_. his r et urn his journalistic attacks on Rosas and his lieu- 
tenant Oribe were so fierce that they dispatched an assassin 
who succeeded in his purpose one night at Vare la's verjT'^ 
doorstep. Beside his political writing, Varela was the 
author of some ode s in the classical style on^ the hospital—^ 
of the Brothers of Charity, on anarchy and on peace, all 
much praised by his friends. The lofty sent iments of 
the poems reveal the noble charac t er of the^m an. 

With his encouragement Ascasubi continued to produce 
his gaucho dialogues and letters. A favorite device of the 

poet was the letter written by the gaucho Donato Jurao 
to his wife narrating recent events or by Paulino Lucero 
discussing the cruel deeds of Rosas such as the execution 
of Camila O'Gorman and the priest Gutierrez. (This act 
was staged by the Uruguayan Fajardo.) These occa- 
sional pieces were afterwards collected in a volume and 
printed with the title Paulino Lucero or "the gauchos of 
the no de la Plata singing and fighting against the tyrants 
of the Argentine and the Oriental Republics, 1839-51: 
relating all the episodes of the nine years' siege which 
Montevideo sustained heroically and unequally as well as 
the combats which the gaucho patriots fought until the 
tyrant J. M. Rosas and his satellites were laid low." As 
the long sub-title promises, the book is a perfect mine of 
facts, especially for the student of local manners and cus- 

His success in political verse led Ascasubi to attempt 
an ambitious reconstruct ion of the life of th e gaucho aFthc^ 
end of t he eighteenth century. The title which he finally 


gave to the collection of his sketches originally published 
in 1S51, was Santos f'fga los Mfllizos de la Flor. In this 
picaresque novel in verse the payador Santos Vega, "aquel 
de la iarga fama," relates the life and criminal deeds of a 
famous gaucho outlaw who flourished between 1778 and 
1808. In this manner the author finds opportunity to 
describe life on the estancias, its danger from the Indians, 
the rural customs and ideas, the good features of gaucho 
character as well as the evil and to celebrate the some- 
what mythological Santos Vega himself. 

After th e fajl of Rosas and the establishment of the rule 
o i General Urquiza, Ascasubi began the publication of a, 
p eriodical entitled Ayiiceto el Gallo fro m who se pages a 
g aucho by that na me preached unit arian doctrines to the 
fed eralistic adherents of Urquiza. Ma ny of his old poems 
against Rosas were reprinted. Though public interest 
kept the periodical alive for a year during 1853 and 54, not 
many political conversions have been attributed to the 
influence of Aniceto el Gallo. 

Ascasubi's verses are so closely conne cted with con- 
temporary events and can scarcely be read without con--- 
St ant reference to a glossary t hat they lack inte rgst_n oWy 
but to his friends he ivaS-Ji" second Beranger." In a 
degree the footnotes with which he provided the final 
edition of his poems are more interesting than the text. 

WTien Mitre co ndemned th^ gaucho jargon in the 
t heory^ of poetics prefaced to the second edirion _n£ his 
Rimaj, he was preparing th e way for a poet of the yo unger 
gen eration. Ricardo Gutierrez (i8^6 -q6) published in 
i860 a volume of poems which must have obtained Mitre's 
approval. The long poems contained therein, Ldzaro and 


La Fibra Salvaje, Jiave been termed by enthusiastic ad- 
mirers the most c riollo of all Argentine poems. At the" 
same time their expression of t he pass i on of love is m ost 
intense. Ldzaro is the tale of a gaucho disappointed in 

love. La Fibra Salvaje possesses the intensity of a gaucho 
tale at least as the title suggests. It depicts the despair 
of a lover, Ezequiel, who separated from Lucia, the object 
of his passion, becomes a monk when she marries another 
man. After several years the husband, Don Julio, comes 
in remorse to the monk's cell and, without knowing the 
latter's personal interest in the matter, confesses that he 
had sold his wife for gold to satisfy his passion for gambling. 
The monk is so inflamed with anger that he challenges 
Julio to fight. Julio is killed. Then Ezequiel lays 
aside his monk's garb to enter the army of San Martin 
in one of whose victorious battles he meets his own 

{ Ri cardo Gutierrez becam e a physician. The experiences 
of his calling are revealed in many of his poems, for~Ke 


constantly cries t o God in prayer for consolation for tKe ~"^ 
miseries which h e witnesses . In 1880 he published a novel 
Cristian. The protagonist of that name is a student who, 
during his vacation on his brother's ranch, falls in love 
with his brother's wife to whom he discourses much of the 
soul. And finally like Werther commits suicide. The 
sign ificance of Ricardo Gutierrez lies in the fact that he 
penetrates the depth of the gaucho soul and reveals as~n a ^ 
other of his countrymen its i nner workings prompting 
to the deeds of violence^so frequently describe d. 

Po ems in the gaucho jargon after the cessation of the 
publication of Aniceto el Gallo were next written by 


Estanislao del Campo (bom 1835). His first verses 
signt'tl "Anastasin cl PoIl(/' wen- ascnlnil to Ascasuhi till 
the latter denitd tluir authorsliiji in a letter from Aniceto 
el Gallo congratulating Anastasio el Polio ujion his first 
efforts as a cantor. The best of Del Campo's early poems 
is the account of the battle of Pavdn fought in 1861 which 
it will be remembered established the supremacy of the 
province of Buenos Aires in revolt under the generalship 
of Mitre against Urquiza. This poem gives a mock ac- 
count of the battle as a report from the defeated general. 
Del Campo also wrote verse in a more elevated style; for 

example, his ode to America on a text taken from Mar- 
mol's lines that America pr ophesies li berty to the w orld 
is readable. Were it not however for one gaucho poem 

of his he would be speedily forgotten. At the suggestion 

of Ricardo Gutierrez, to whom he dedicated his produc- 
tion, he composed and published in 1866 a long poem en- 
titled Fausto. Impresiones del gaucho Anastasio el Polio 
<n la representacion de esta opera. And it is a masterpiece. 

It is a masterpiece because, in retelling the story, in 
Komefy dialect, Del Campo has retained tTie literary values 
a nd pathos of the origmal and at the same time h e paints 
_the reflection of th e trage dy in the gaucho's so ul. The 
poem fulfills the demand of Mitre t hat the poet should 
treat his material in an artistic manner; yet it is filled with 
gaucho sentimen t. The setting of the story, Anastasio el 
Polio's breezy humor, his metaphorical comparisons drawn 
from his daily life are incomparable bits of realism. Its 
effectiveness is increased by the simple direct way in which 
the story proceeds. 

In the opening lines of the poem the reader is introduced 


to the gaucho Laguna riding along on his dappled pony, 
gay with trappings of silver, so heavy that he seemed to 
bear on him "a Potosi." Arriving at the river he had dis- 
mounted and was unsaddling his horse when he caught 
sight of a man's clothes. Then his horse neighed as a man 
on horseback came out of the river. Laguna recognizes 
his old friend Anastasio el Polio. After they embrace, 
Laguna relates his recent adventures. He had been to 
the city to collect money due him for some wool but he had 
been greeted by excuses, "To-morrow. Come later. No 
money." El Polio jests him on the amount of silver that 
he carries about. Laguna explains that he won it from a 
gambler, who had the insolence to accuse him of witch- 
craft. "According to his story you'd think the Devil and 

I " "Hush! friend, the other night I saw the Devil. 

Cross yourself." Besought by his friend to relate the 
adventure, el Polio, after fortifying himself by a drink 
from Laguna's flask, began. 

Being near the theater Colon, he saw a crowd going in, 
so he paid his admission and went in too. After climbing 
a hundred and one steps he found his seat. Then the band 
began to play and the curtain went up. A doctor made 
known his weariness with life because he was in love with 
a little blond. In despair he called on the Devil who then 
appeared. Laguna doubts that it really was the Devil. 
"Half the city saw him," maintains el Polio. The Devil 
then gave the doctor a glimpse of the blond. "Ah! she 
was as beautiful as the Immaculate Virgin." The Devil, 
before doing more for the doctor, insisted on his signing 
a contract, and when it was signed, laughed so that **it 
rang in my ears all night." 


In this manner cl Pdllo narrates the story of the opera 
act by act. At the end of the tragedy he tells how Faust 
visiting the prison prayed. Then the wall opened and the 
girl's soul ascended to glory. Saint Michael brandishing 
his sword came down from among the clouds, before 
whom the Devil sank into the ground. "Lend me your 
handkerchief. My head sweats; how could you see such 
witchcraft?" cries Laguna. "I went about for four or 
five days with a headache," replies el Polio. 

The first edition of Fausto distribu ted twenty thousand 
copies, the proce eds of wh ich were donated by the author 
to the military hospitals. But more popul ar still ha s been 
Martin Fierro, published in 1S72, by Jose Hernandez 

(1834-S6). The autlior was a journalist in Buenos Aires, 
who founded the Revista del Rio de la Plata. The editions 
of his poem, nearly tripled in length by a second part, 
La Fuelta de Martin Fierro, are still issued. As a measure 
of its popularity may be taken the fact that it used to 
be on sale in country groceries and the often quoted 
anecdote of the messenger sent to buy various supplies 
and "the latest part of Martin Fierro." 

The poem relates in the language and manner of the 
ga ucho, the story^oT KTa rtin Fierro's misfortunes. Once 
a small farmer with wife and child, he was taken from them 
by a recruiting officer. The regiment into which he was 
drafted fights with the Indians. After a while he deserts 
and returns to his farm. He finds it without signs of lift 
and the buildings burnt. So he becomes a "matrero," 
or gaucho outlaw, in company with one Cruz. Tired of 
being hunted by the police, Martin smashes his guitar as 
a sign of renouncing his ties with the white race and joins 


the Indians. La Vuelta de Martin Fierro, or his return 
to civilization, has less movement and long moralizing 
sermons by Padre Vizcacha. These however were not dis- 
pleasing to its readers who found their own sentiments 
voiced by his words. The generation who received this 
poem understood it as a challenge to the government m 

Buenos Aires that was legislating for the country people 
without understanding their need s. 

To>' others the poem symboliz ed the w^hole race of the 

gau cho who has now disappeared before the advance o T 
the railway and Euro pean immigratio n. The truth of 
Hernandez* representation was instantly recognized. Her- 

nandez was brought up in the country and thoroughly 
understood the physical conditions and the characters 
whose daily life, passions, pleasures, aspirations, and 
dreams he portrayed so minutely. 

As literature Martin Fierro is ranked high by the Span- 
ish critic, Miguel de Unamuno, who finds in it a commin- 

gling of the epic and the lyric. Further he says: "When 
the payador of the pampa beneath the shade of the ombu 
in the calm of the desert, or on a pleasant night by the 
light of the stars intones, to the accompaniment of his 
Spanish guitar, the monotone decimas of Martin Fierro 
and the gauchos listen with emotion to the poetry of the 
pampa, they hear, without being aware of the fact, the 
inextinguishable echoes of their mother Spain, echoes 
which with their blood and soul were bequeathed to them 
by their parents. Martin Fierro is the song of the Spanish 
warrior who, after having planted the cross in Granada, 
went to America to serve in the vanguard of civilization. 
Therefore iiis song is filled with the Spanish spirit; his 


langungc Is Spanish, his idioms, his m axi ms, his worldly 
wisdom, hib soul arc Spanish. " 

With the popularity of Martin Firrro, the gaucho he- 
came the fashion. As a part of an evening entertainment 

or as a side show to a circus the payador flourished. A 
few professionals attained celebrity for their ready wit 
in improvisation for it was customary to pit against each 
other representatives of different provinces. 

With less realism and more of the ar tistry demanded by 
Nlit r'e, the gaucho next appeare d in verse in the Tradi- 
ciones Argc-ntinas of Rafael Obligado. These three brief 
poems are poetical interpretations of the Santos Vega 
legend. In the first a payador relates how the ghost of 
Santos Vega had played at night on a guitar accidentally 
left by a well. The second brings the famous gaucho to a 
ghostly love tryst. The third narrates the death of 
Santos Vega in contest vvith an unknown payador, to 
whom Obligado gives the symbolic name Juan Sin Ropa. 
According to the legend Santos Vega, the unexcelled, had 
succumbed only in a contest with the Devil; but this vic- 
tor's name typifies the new imr'nigration which has brought 
about the passing of the old conditions in the country. 
In he words of the poem, Juan Sin Ropa's song "was 
the mighty cry of progress on the wind. " 

W ritten with a like symbolism as if to mark the dis- 
appearance of the gaucho, at the c lose of the ninete enth 
century was published in 1899 the last recorded gaucho 
poem, Nastasio, by Francisco Sot o y Calvo . It is the 
story of the death of old Anastasicj, the gaucho, after a 
terrific hurricane had robbed him of his wife and children. 
Into this poem filled with the spirit of the pampa, the 


author has attempted to concentrate the essence of all 
the rich gaucho hterature. 

Two years later Soto y Calvo brought out a counter- 
part to this poem in Nostalgia in which he portrays~the~ 
new life that has come into th e country with the inBux"~^ 
.of foreign immigration . An Italian immigrant, Vittor, 
falls in love with a maid servant of native birth whose 
employers take him as a farmhand. After their marriage 
riches come to them as the reward of sturdy effort and 
allow Vittor to put into execution his long cherished am- 
bition of returning to Italy. But the couple are not happy; 
they are homesick for the pampa (hence the title.) One's 
country is where one is well off. The story would have 
been better if its twelve thousand lines had been prose. 

The p rose treatment of the gaucho began a bou t 1880 , 
when realistic fiction in the style of Zola was coming into 

vogue. Eduardo Gutierrez, making use of police reports, 
filled the literary sections oT the newspapers with ~tHe 
exploits oFno torious criminals so that Juan MoreiraT tHe^ 
assassin, and El Jorobado, thief, became household 

names . But as M. Garcia Merou points out, the rom antic~ 
payaaor Santos Vega has becpme a dege nerate .wiio 
spends the intervals between h is robber ies in getting drunk. 
But Eduardo Gutierrez by adapting one of the episodes 
of.nTs novel Juan Moreira to p antomimic representatio n 
in a circus opened anot her path in li terature to the gaucho . 
At first to fill the part in the pantomime real gauchos rode 
their horses into the circus and strummed the guitar. Soon 
spoken dialogue was added to their roles. In this play 
the brothers Podesta achieved a reputation and continued 
it independent of the circus. Their success encouraged 


tluin to stage Martin FUrro. Then original plays about~ 
K.un.hiis Were written both in Argent]na and Uruguay. 
St) ri> the present day the gaucho has kept the stage. And 
from this popular origin has developed a class of plays 


whic h re pre sent th e rnanners and speech o f the lower 
cl asses. 

Public enthusiasm over the productions of the popular 
poetr>^ never hindered cu ltivation of verse along more 
classic lines. The poet called on to voice the sentiments 

of Buenos Aire s at a public gathering in celebration of 
the establishment of the third French Repub lic ijn 1 870 
,was Martin Corona do. He had attra cted attention only 
the year before by th e essentially virile tone and sparkling 
eloquence of his verses, a quality which m ade them very 
suitable for declamation. As a- poet of occasion he prac- 
ticed also the epigram and the jocose. But his most 
interesting poems are narrative pictures of dra matic 
events in contemporary life. In Los Hijos de la Pampa 
his heart beats in sympathy with the soldier who, wounded 
by the same bullet that had killed his horse, lovingly 
caresses the animal before dying. Angela is the story of 
a young woman whose conduct fits her name. At her 
wedding ceremony a woman appears to claim the prospec- 
tive bridegroom as the father of a child in her arms. 
Angela recognizes a bow of ribbon in the woman's posses- 
sion as one which she had herself given the man as a token 
of love. Removing her wedding veil and putting it on 
the woman, Angela compels the man to marry the mother 
of his child. Later Angela dies of a broken heart. In 
these narrative poems Coronado reveals himself as a 
disciple o f Ricardo Gutierrez. The two poets resemble 



each other also in theii-intpnsu:y_o £ expressio n when treat- 
ing the passion of love. 

"Coronado on the other hand essayed the drama in pr o- 
,ductions the most important since those of M armol. 
La Rosa Blanca, 1877, dramatizes the efforts of a physician 
to cure a girl who had become insane through disappointed 
love. Luz de Luna y Luz de Lncendio, played a year later, 
stages with great realism the days of Rosas. Cuitino, a 
despicable villain and officer of the tyrant, appears at 
an evening party where he succeeds in getting his victim, 
young Emilio, to betray his unitarian sentiments, whereat 
he is arrested and taken to the barracks of the federal 
soldiers. The scene at the barracks gives opportunity 
for declamatory eloquence from Emilio. The drunken 
Cuitiiio and his soldiers display the utmost brutality and 
thereby prepare the spectator for the killings in the last act. 
These plays were partly the outcome of the efforts of a 
(^ literary society, the "Academia Argentina, " to promote' 
the theater. The members proclaim ed the mselves j is^ 
ciples of Echeverria with the purpose of nationalizing^ 
literature on the model of La CaiUiva. As a step in this 

^- direction they occup ied themselves als o in prep aring~~a- 
^ dictionary of expressions peculiar to Argentina. .The 
memb er of t his society who won th e greatest namelo T 

r himself as a poet wa s Rafael Obligado. One of his best 
poems, Echeverria, which may be taken as the manifesto 
of the society, turns on the idea: — 

Lancemonos nosotros sus hermanos 
Por la senda inmortal de Echeverria. 

' ..pbligado is a genuine poet with the tr uest feeling for. 

arc;i:ntina 149 

the intimate moods of nature. As his family was wealthy, 

he was able to spend his time obs erving her and putting 
into verse such impressions as he willed. His earliest 
long poem, La Pampa, written in 1S72 under the direct 
imitation of his chosen master, is an ambitious attempt at 
word painting. But he was more successful in such gems 
as La Flor del Seibo and El Nido de Boyeros. The former 
is a letrilla composed to vie with the Cuban poet, Placido's 
La Flor de la Caha to which Obligado refers in the opening 
lines when he declares his belief that the inspiring Cuban 
beauty had no blacker or prettier eyes than a certain little 
Argentine maid. Perhaps the same little maid was the 
passionate, tender-hearted lass of the adventure with the 
birds' nest related in El Nido de Boyeros. The poet says 
he is acquainted with a girl of thirteen who likes to row 
about the river amusing herself by picking flowers. WTien- 
ever she sees him she haughtily threatens him with her 
fist. One day he saw her approach a nest of boyeros 
hanging over the water. When she tried to get it with a 
long stick she just missed it. Thereby losing her balance 
she was throvm to her seat ih the boat. In anger she 
started to strike the nest, but the cries of the young birds 
deterred her. Instead she gently rocked the nest. While 
engaged in this motherly occupation she caught sight of 
the poet watching her. And thereafter when she passes 
him in her boat instead of threatening him, she rows 
quickly past with averted head. 

Beside t he breath of the pampa a nd the woodland 
fragance rare in Argentin e poetry, Oblig ado's lines reveal 
tender human sen ti ments. The sense of pfT<;nn.-i] Inss 
th rough the dea th of l oved on es has seldom been more 


exqu isitely expressed than in El Hozar Vac'io. And from 
El Hogar Paterno the reader discovers that the poet's love 
for his country is rooted in his love for his home. The 
total number of Qbligado's poems is small, a fac t whiclP' 
testifies jto the ca re with which he wrote. At the s ame 
time he claimed a romanticist's freedom of treatment. 

Partly from this and partly from his choice of subjects 

came about the most interesting episode of his litera ry" 
career. One day he sent a challenge written in tercets 

to his friend Calixto Oyuela to debate in a Justa Literaria 
the old question of classicism and romanticism. Nothing 
averse, the latter, who had just been winning some prizes 
in Buenos Aires for his classic verses, replied in tercets 
accepting the challenge. In the same meter and form 
they reproached each other for what each one believed to 
be the other's shortcomings. Obligado thought that Oyuela 
was neglectful of the light of the present ideal and unmind- 
ful of the Andes. Oyuela replied that Obligado was irrever- 
ent of the past. Finally the poets agreed to submit their 
contest to an older poet, Carlos Guido y Spano, a man who 
inspired great respect and even affection in his contempo- 
raries. In a genial letter, interesting to the student of lit- 
erature in many ways, Guido y Spano replied in this strain. 
The guitar is worth as much as the lyre. For a new 
world, new songs. But form must be considered, Ob- 
ligado's exquisite Flor del Seiko would perish were it not 
preserved in a vase of fine cry'stal. Therefore the judge 
advises Oyuela to stop reading Homer and spend a few 
hours with Aniceto el Gallo and Martin Fierro. On the 
other hand, Obligado should go to Athens and Greece. 
Then the two poets will understand each other without 



need of his decision. Let them make truce and continue 
sinping each in his own fashion. 

OMigado referring to the ancient habit of presenting 
the victor of a poetic contest with a rose, sent to Oyuela 
his Flor del Seibo. The latter in acceptance complimented 
his adversary on possessing more true American savor 
than any other and advised that they make war on their 
common enemy, that Hterary pest, Gallic imitation. 

To un derstand the sjj^mficanc e of the J usta LiUraricL, 
it IS necessary to consider certain minor movements in 
Argentine poesy. Even Echeverria believed that poetry 
was a sort of handmaid to morality and humanitarianism. 
A spiritualistic tendency of this kind easily joined jtself 
fefcurrent of classicism. And when about the 

year 18S0 literar>' societies established contests in Buenos 

.Aires to which they gave the old name o f "juegos florales," 
the poems submitted to the jud ges were compositions on \ 
the classical or philosophical order. 

Cali.xto Oyuela was a prize winner in these contests, 
in 1 88 1 with his Canto al Arte and the ne.xt year with 
Eros. The latter is a very bdautiful poem, distinguished 
on the one hand for its correctness of diction and classic 
spirit and on the other for the development of the senti- 
ment which it expresses. The poet declares that love is 
the inspiration of all his verses. Every flower, the breeze, 
each wave of the sea, the last breath of evening, the shin- 
ing stars, all nature speaks to him of love. 

This poem is perhaps the fairest product of the purely 
classic school. In the same year in which it was written, 
_died th e man of whom the classicis ts believed themselves 
disciples, namely, Carlos Encina (18^0-82). When nine- . 


teen years of age, he won first prize in a school contest 
by a Canto lirico al Colon. Later he wrote two poetical 
dissertations, Canto al Arte and La Lucha por la Idea. 
They comprise practically all his compositions in verse, 
for he became a teacher of mathematics and of philosophy 
along evolutionary lines. His poems are judged some- 
what harshly by Menendez y Pelayo on the ground that 
they are not poetic but are merely the versification of 
Hegelian and Spencerian ideas. How the Argentines re- 
garded the poems has been told by Ricardo Gutierrez. 
To them they opened a new course of aesthetics which 
was the religion of the new school. 

Carlos Guido y Spano (bom 1829) was, however, the 
grand old man of the classicists. He was the one who 

gave them translations from the Greek and showed the m 
by example what correct ness of form meant . His sober 
and severe style was a development of his later days as 
one may discover by reading the verses published in the 
collection of 1871, Hojas al Viento. Here are revealed the 
same tenderness of feeling and the same breadth of sym- 
pathy which made him personally so beloved. Sympathy 
with the bereaved or the sufferer from injustice is the" 
dominant n ote of his best poems. 

Perhaps he inherited this trait from his father Tomas 
Guido, one of San Martin's generals at the battles of 
Chacabuco and Maipu, and an orator of renown. At 
any rate the poet relates in the autobiographical sketch 
prefixed to Rdfagas, a volume of collected newspaper ar- 
ticles, two notable instances of his own nobility of char- 
acter. In 1 85 1, his brother being sick in Paris, Carlos 
was sent by his parents to look after him. When he ar- 


rived he found his bmthcr dead. Paris was in an uproar 
of revolution. Filltd with democratic enthusiasm for 
justice the young Argentine fought behind the barricades. 
Luckily he came away alive, for in 1S71 an opportunity 
offered for him to show the same spirit of disregard of 
self, to the benefit of his native city. Buenos Aires was 
being ravaged by an epidemic of yellow fever and it was 
necessary for a popular commission to fight the peril. 
As a member of it Carlos Guido y Spano distinguished 
himself by his activity. 

Sympathy with a sister nation inspired him to his most_ 
ambitious p oem, Mexico: c anto epico. When the French 
invaded Mexico in 1862, their army at first met with 
defeat. Guido's sentiments on this occasion are so ve- 
hemently expressed that the Mexican critic, Sosa, declares 
that one might easily suppose the author of the poem to 
be a Mexican. But Guido y Spano was equally moved 
by the injustice of an act when his own country was a 
participant. The result of Argentina's coalition with 
Brazil to oppress Par aguay is most patheti cally sign ified 
in Nc-n ia. This brief poem is one of the most precious 
gems of Argentine lyrism. It is the lament of a young 
Paraguayan girl who has lost her parents, brothers and 
lover by the ravages of the war. The lament begins and 
ends with an apostrophe to the urutau, a native bird of 
sweetest song, perched on the yatay, a kind of palm tree. 

Llora, llora, urutau, 
en las ramas del yatay; 
ya no existe el Paraguay, 
donde naci como tu. 
Llora, llura, urutau. 


No less affecting is the poet in rendering his personal 

/ fe^Hngs, whe ther jt be to his mother, A mi Madre, or t o a 

friend just ber eaved by the deat h of her father, J I Pasar. 
Few poems dep icting the awakenin g of a first love exc el 
, En los Guindos; the bpy has climbed a cherry tree ^nd 
as he tosses the fruit intd\tb«''''oiTtspr^a^ skirt of~nis girt^ 
companion, his heart fills with emotion as he glimpses 
her charms. 

It is easy to understand why Guido y Spano should 
^have been selecte d" by Oyuela and T) bl ig ado to d e cide ~ 
their literary joust. With Oyuela he had in common a 
• revere nce for form, and with Obligado a love for the 

tender and sen timental. B ut their verses began to seem 
trivial to the public be side the grandiloquent outbursts 
of a poet who is gene rally^regarded as Argentina's greatest 
poet, Olegario Victor Andra de (1838-83). 

Before the juegos florales of 1880 he was scarcely heard 
of because he was on the wrong side in politics. He was 
one of the boys whom General Urquiza had ordered to 
be sent to school and to the university. He repaid his 
patron by dedicating to him a poem, Ali Patria, which 
won a prize in the school contest in 1856. But he lost 
favor the same year by marrying at the age of eighteen. 
He supported himself by writing for provincial papers. 
In i860 he became private secretary to President Derqui, 
but as his government was soon overthrown, Andrade 
had no resource but to continue to write in the provinces. 
Though he once succeeded in securing a place in Buenos 
Aires, he lost it by espousing the cause of Urquiza against 
Sarmiento. In the following administration of Avel- 
laneda he held a position in the custom house at Con- 



cordia, hut was accused of negligence in administration, 
a charge from which he was later acquitted. With the 
advent of General Roca to the presidency in iSSo, the 
provinces acquired a larger share in the government. 
Roca placed Andrade in charge of La Tribuna as chief 
editor of this government organ. And after his death, 
in 1883, President Roca assisted Andrade's widow by 
buying from her for the National Library the manuscripts 
ol all his poems for sixteen thousand pesos, and by print- 
ing at national e.xpense a fine edition of his poems. More- 
over, President Roca paid Andrade the personal compli- 
ment of delivering an oration at his funeral. 

.Andrade's poems are characterized by a declamatory 
eloquence on patriotic topics and an exagge rated Amer- 
icanism. They are didactic on the theo ry that the ppoL 
has a m ission to preach to the multitud e. Having been 
-jvritten within the space of five ye ars when the man 
was about forty years old, they display a certain u nity 
of conception which, despite their diversity of title, gives 
them additional force. 

The first of this series of mature poems is El Nido de 
CbndoTes, dated 1S77. A condor's nest situated on a 
gloomy and precipitous clifF above a defile in the Andes, 
surrounded by a white band of snow, amid perpetual 
silence, has attracted the poet's attention. Musing he 
recollects the stirring events of which the nest of the 
condor witnessed in part at least, San Martin's passage 
of the mountains, the battles of Maipii, of Chacabuco, 
the disaster of Cancha Rayada. 

The next poems are more personal, to General Lavalle, 
to San Martin, El Arpa P^rdida, an elegy on the poet 


Luca, singer of Argentine triumphs in revolutionary 
days, who was drowned in a shipwreck in 1824. Heroism, 
American heroism is ever his theme as in the ode, Pay- 
sandii, to the memory of the victorious Uruguayans. 

In Atldntida, which won him a prize in the juegos 
florales of 1881, Andrade advanced to a more abstract 
and prophetic tone. This poem, dedicated to the future 
of the Latin race in America, begins with a summary 
of the history of that race. Rome, Spain, France, have 
each in its turn risen to leadership and fallen to decay. 
But in America are republics, the poet characterizes each 
in memorable lines, republics where life beats high and 
liberty will come to full fruition. 

The poet's mission as a teacher and prophet is exalted 
in a Canto a Victor Hugo. To Andrade, the French poet 
seems greater than any of his predecessors, who have 
tried to uplift humanity, excelling Isaiah, Juvenal or 
Dante. He possesses the peculiar qualities which marked 
each of them. And he lives in France, "height where 
nests human genius." But in America, "new theater 
which God destines for the drama of the future, free 
races admire thee, Orpheus, who went down in search of 
thy beloved, sacred democracy. And across the seas, 
setting star, the sons of the dawn salute thee." 

Hugo replied to this effusion by nothing more than a 
few courteous words of thanks; whereby it was "ill paid," 
in the opinion of Menendez y Pelayo. But Valera is 
uncertain whether Hugo was vexed at being called old 
and a setting star or whether the French poet was ignorant 
of Castilian and failed to understand the poem. 

In Prometeo, the most transcendental of his poems. 


Andrade wrote the spiritual history of the man of genius, 
of the thinker who strives for the good of the human race. 
We have perhaps an echo of Andrade's personal misfor- 
tunes. The setting of the poem is the same as in the trag- 
edy by .^schylus. The Titan lies chained to the rocks, 
hurling his defiance at Jupiter and is pitied by the Ocean- 
ids. Aside from the words which the poet puts in the 
Titan's mouth, Andrade's innovation in the legend con- 
sists in the term which he puts to the suffering. WTien 
the Titan views the cross of Christ on Golgotha, he feels 
that he may die because another martyr is about to win 
the fight for the liberty of human thought and human 

The Spanish critics are somewhat captious of Andrade's 
merits because his Americanism is distateful to them . 
To Valera the poet's expression "Latin race" is especially 
distressing. He thinks, however, that Andrade, given 
a better and wider education, might have excelled both 
Bello and Olmedo as h e is sup erior in inspiration. What 
the Argentines think of Andrade has been well said thus: 
"He is the true national po et of the Arg entines, because 
he reflects in his beautiful songs the aspirations of that 

young and lively democracy which frets itself in supreme 
loDgings for liberty, progress, and civilization, while it 
is the melting pot for the diverse elements of the La tin 
racc^_£i:o m whic h will spring a new American type, des- 
tined to preside over an important evolution of .t hp 
human species in the new world." ^ 

Soon after Andrade was laid irSTs^^omb, it witnessed 
a strange ceremony. A paralytic whose lower limbs had 

' M. Garcia Mcrou, Recuerdos LiUrarios. 


been useless for ten years, was brought there for the pur- 
pose of paying honor to a fellow poet by laying on the 
tomb a wreath which he, Gervasio Mendez (1849-98), ha d 
won in a poetic contest. For many years Mendez was a 
.pathetic fi gu re in Arg entine letters . ^The poems senj 
forth from his cou ch of suffering rang with no feigned 
note of melancholy. When he besought, in Los Ndufragos 

del Mundo the pity of the world upon the failures, or 
urged in Amor Celeste the joy of religious consolation, 
there sprang to mind the poet's own story. Friends by 
printing editions of his poems and assisting their sale 
helped to keep him in the public mind. Leopoldo Diaz 
in a sonnet compared him to the bound and helpless 
Mazeppa. In a measure Mendez was a precursor of t he 
youthful poets whose pseudo-melancholy began in the 

late seventies to be the fashion. His first volume of 

verses, printed in 1876, was greeted by the veteran critic 
J. M. Gutierrez with the enthusiastic cry that a real poet 
had appeared in Argentina. 

The early ei ghties witnessed in Buenos Aires a peculiar^ 
recrudesc ence of French romanticism of the type of Alfred 
de Musset . The youths who^jpri ded themsel v es on writing ^ 
verses l ike the m a ster sought al so to imitate him in 
manner of life . They organized a society, the "Circulo 
Cientifico Literario," to foster the production of poetry 
by listening to each other's lines. Translations of their 
favorites, such as Gautier's Alhertus, De Musset's Rolla 
were interspersed with recitations in the original of the 
most risque passages of the same poets. Makipg Miirge r 
t heir model the young Bohemians indulged in mu cn 
horseplay not always devoid of Bacchanalian excesses. 

ARGENTINA i :;9 .^^ 

The verses of some of these younR men are inrensting T" 

to read. Julio K. Mitre, president of the cirele, imitating * 

the elegies of Gautier sang that^ve was the sweetest of -.- 

^o oJs and the crue lest of ill s. Adolfo Mi tre (i8 qo-S^4). 
took immense pains with the form of his verses melancholy 
in tone on gloomy topics. Alberto Navarro Viola (1856- 
85), possesse d a wider literary and moral horizon in 
his poem s on Giordano Bruno, Voltaire, and Moreau, 
though a series of twenty-five poems on the death of his 

mother, the memory of her kisses and his doubts after 

her death, gav e forth the truest note. He also published \ 

an annual biblic^graphy of literary works printed in ;^ 

Buenos Aires, which i s now of real value to the student. '^X 

To Luis S. Ocampo was due the intro duction of orgiasticV-1 — ,^^Ss 
lines in the mrinner of Fsnronred.T. Dominfrn Mnrtinrn X\ 

lines in the mann er of Espronceda. Domingo Martinto 
strove for Par nassian ele gance and s ucceeded so well that 
some of his poems might easily be taken for translations 
from the French. 

Equally as c areful in expression was Martin G arcia 
Merou (b. 1862) . His literary activirj^f; werp rp j^y 
and various, in cluding attempts at the Zolai stic novel 
in Lf\ Social. For a time he mystified his companions by 
publishing sane criticisms on their mad verses. To him 
we are indebted for an amusing and instructive account 
of the movement in his Recuerdos Literarios. Long con- 
nected with the diplomatic service of Argentina bis 
graphic pen described the life of those countries in which 


he resided. More than fifteen volumes of verses, tales. 

ai )d criticism bea r his nam e. An other poet who began to 
write with these young men (his ode El Dcscubrimitnto 
(U America won a prize in 1882), but who lived longer 


than they and continued to write for twenty-five years 
$ was Enrique E. Rivarola. Among his later productions 

were realistic prose tales of life in Argentina. 

All this poetic activity of the early eighties in Buenos 
.Aires created an atmosphere favorable to the new ideas 
in literature, which were to spread from that center thro ugh 
the Spanish-American world till they affected even Span^~:;*~ 

ish poets. The "modemista" movement, though origin- 
.ating in part with others, dates fro m 1 888 with the pu b- ~^ 
lication of Jzul by Ruben Dario. It is significant of^^ 

the cosmopolitan character of the movement that its 
leader was a native of Nicaragua, who had come to Buenos 
Aires by way of the west coast of South America. On 
account of the world-wide influence of Ruben Dario and 
the modemista school they must be studied apart from 
the local poetry of Argentina.^ 

Cesser or younger followers of the movement than the 
galaxy of the great, those whose reputations haveBeeiT 

mainly local, are Emilio Berisso, Eu genio Diaz Romero, Al- 
berto Ghiraldo and Ricardo Rojas. Enrique Banchs, s ince 
1907, has been perhaps the most prolific. . In the monthly 

review Nosotros, now representing the best literary pro- 

duction of Argentin a, find thei r opportunity for liter ary 
endeavor such writers as Juan Mas y Pi, Manuel Galvez, 
and Alvaro Melian Lafinur. "■^- 

Though fiction as a kind of literature in Argentina beg an 
with Marmol's Amalia, other novels made their appear- 
ance after the fall of Rosas. In the periodical El Plata 

cientifico y liter ario, founded in 1854 by Miguel Navarro 
Viola, a leading attraction was the historical novel La 
* See Chapter XIV'. 


Novia dfl llereje o la Inquisicion df Lima, by Vicente 
Fidel Lopez. The author attempted to depict society 
in Lima about the year 157S, when Peru was startled by 
the appearance off its coasts of the Enghsh admiral 
Francis Drake on his famous cruise in the Pacific ocean. 

V. F. Lopez, during his studies for his Ilistoria Argentina, 
found material for another story entitled La Loca de la 
Guardia. Such was the name given to a crack-brained 
woman hving near the passes of the Andes, who used to 
give information to the patriots of the movements of the 
Spanish armies. As her mental condition was said to be 
due to abuse from Spanish soldiers, Lopez made a story 
out of the mystery of her life. 

The periodical La Revista de Buenos Aires established in 
iSl>5 to which Lopez contributed historical articles and 
J. M. Gutierrez literary criticisms tried to encourage the 
production of fiction. The editors promoted an edition, 
5old by sub scription, of the stories of Juana Manuel^ 
Gorriti de Belzi} ^ 'Though she had removed from Ar- 
gentina in her childhood and spent her life in Bolivia and 
Lima, where she was a prominent figure in literary circles, 
the people of Buenos Aires were proud to claim her as a 
countrpvoman. Th>e sale in 1865 of the collection of her 
stories, Suenos y Realidades, was very successful. Ten 
years later visiting heX native country she was received 
with a royal welcome, arid another collection of her tales, 
Panoramas de la Fida, was brought out. 

/Vnother female writer bf fiction to whom Gutierre z 
ca lled the attention of the public was Eduarda Mansilla de 
Garcia who printed her workynder the name of " DanieL" 
' See paga 257. 


She published in i860 El Medico de San Luis, a valuab le 
picture of contemporary s ocial condit ions. The protag- 

onist was an English doctor who had married in Ar- 
gentina. The childish character of his wife is contrasted 
with that of his sister Jane, a practical woman to whose 
sternly Protestant mind the weaknesses of her foreign 
and Catholic sister-in-law, as well as the kind of educa- 
tion being given to her twin nieces is abhorrent. By this 
means the author made public her ideas on the education 
and social position of girls. Eduarda Mansilla wro te other 
novels, one of which, Lucia M iranda, dealt with t\\e. 
fortune s of that c olonial h eroine so attractive to Argentine 
novelists and dramatists since Labarden's play Siripo. 

Romantic fictio n gave way to realism about 1880. 
Eduardo Gutierrez' tales of criminal gauchos mark~~a~" 
transition to the novels which were inspired by the appear- 
ance of Zola's works. For their novels his imitato rs fouli3 
ample material in the cosmopolitan city Buenos Aires. 
On the one hand the influence on character and family life 
of the sudden acquisition of wealth afforded opportunity 
for naturalistic studies, and on the other the clash between 
the foreign immigrants and the native population pre- 
sented dramatic contrasts. 

Eugenio Cambaceres was one of the first to write in the 
naturalistic manner. His Silbidos de un Vago, 1882, was 
little more than sketches of life in the city and on th e 
estancias. That and his next book Mus ica Sentimental 
were greeted by adverse criticism because the freedo m 
with which the relations between the sexes was treated 
shocked the public. When, however, in 1885 he p ublished 
Sin Rumbo it had been educated sufficiently to appreciate 


the good points of the novel. This is the story of a man 
of the world who seeks in the country the restoration of 
his health undermined hy dissipation. On the estancia h( 
amuses himself by making love to a humble country girl. 
After a time he returns to the city. Once more tiring of 
fast living he goes back to the estancia where he finds that 
a son has been born to him. Paternal love awakens and 
makes a better man of him. Unluckily his little Andres 
falls sick and dies whereat the father is so grieved that he 
commits suicide. The attraction of this novel la y in its 
detailed pictures of native life; a long journey on horse- 

t)ack across the sunlit pampa, night on the farm, the 

raging storm th at turned dry broo ks into torrents, the 
pathetic dea th of little Andres. Moreover, the language , 
of the characters, the jargon of the peasants a nd the sl ang 
of the city, wi th thei r familiar and pictur esque expressi ons, 
added to the enthusiasm of the critics who hailed Cam- 
baceres as the founder of the nat ion aLnoveL^ 

His next. En la Sangre, 1887, developed the suggestion 
of the title by a study of the influence on national life of 
the admixture of Italian immigration. An Italian born 
in Buenos Aires and educated in its streets succeeds in 
marrjing a wealthy girl by first seducing her. The fortune 
thus gained is lost in speculation and there is nothing left 
for Maxima but ill treatment from her ugly-tempered 
husband. The novel had a tremendous success as a serial 
in the columns of a daily paper. 

Cambaceres, however, was not the fir st to stu dy th^ 
foreign element inthe_metropqli^. And in fact three 
novels which appeared in 1884 must have helped to pre- 
pare the public for his somewhat Tiarsher naturalism. 


I/nocentes culpables by Antonio Argerich rel ated the for- 
tunes of an Italian immigrant who rises from his beginning 
as a bootblack through various trades and marries above 
his station. The eldest son is a dissipated fellow who 
finally commits suicide, while the father is no better in his 
later years and ends in the asylum for the insane. Jm 
Gran Aldea by Lucio V. Lopez (1848-94), son of V. F. 
Lopez, depicted the whole life of the city, its politics^ j ts 
morals, its social diversions. T he youthful Blanca, 
married on account of her horror of poverty, to an old man, 
and Julio, for whom she has a guilty passion, are the prin- 
cipal characters. Sketched from life, the originals were 
known to the readers who took great delight in the per- 
sonal allusions, the racy dialogue and the epigrammatic 

The third novel of that year, Fruto Vedado, also a study 
of political and social life in Buenos Aires, was by a FrenctT^""^ 
man whose abHTties have won for him a prominent plac ^" 
in the life of the city. 

Paul Groussac first drew public attention by this novel 
written more m the manner of Daudet than in thatZoT" 

Zola, though it is also the tale of a guilty love . But the 
hero Marcel is a hard worker whose passion for Andrea 
resembles more a blow of ill fortune than a bit of degen- 
eracy, and when Andrea's blind husband discovers their 
fault. Marcel departs to start life anew in Africa. Grous- 
sac after the publication of this novel devoted his time to 
the cultivation of more serious literature, essays, bibliog- 
raphy and history. In 1893 he visited Chicago to deliver 
before the World's Folklore Conference an address on the 
Argentine gaucho. This and other essays were published 


in a volume entitled El I'iaje InteUctual. The description 
of his long journey by way of the west coast of South 
America and throughout the United States, Del Plata 
al Niagara, printed in 1897, is the most interesting book of 
travel from the South American point of view that I know. 
Scnor Groussac well deserved his appointment in 1885 as 
librarian of the National Argentine Library in Buenos 
Aires, a position which helpfully to students he still holds. 
The monthly La Biblioteca, which he edited for two years 
from 1S96, contributed much to the diffusion of knowledge 
concerning early Argentine literature. 

The greatest Argenti ne novelist is Carlos Maria Ocantos, 
who may be correctly termed the Balzac of his native 
city, tollowmg the latter's example he formed a bond of 
union between his m any novels by m aking the principal 
characters members of the same family. By this device he 
could lay the scenes not only in the present day but in the 
past. For example, Don Perfecto, published in 1902, 
written in the form of an autobiography of an old man, 
gives many pictures of life in Buenos Aires as far back 
as 1855. Ocantos' first novels Leon Saldivar, printed in 
Madrid in 1888 when the author was secretary there of the 
Argentine legation, was greeted with applause. The 
critic Ernesto Quesada, an Argentine essayist of power, 
said that the novel realized in prose Echeverria's famous 
dictum regarding the field of Argentine poetry. 

d^^on Saldivar is a/Tich yountt.-ifrarKv^ho leads^e^ordi- 
nan,' l^L- o f t4ega p^ society JH Bu enos Arrcsr^ He co^jrts 
Lucia Guerra, whose father is a wealthy cattle raiser, 
living six months of the year on his estancia and spending 
the rest of the time in the fashionable life of the city. 


The family's manners thus stand in ridiculous contrast 
with the refinement of their associates. The mother 
allows her ambitions to sacrifice her daughter to the wiles 
of a fortune-hunting Frenchman, who celebrates his 
marriage with Lucia by getting drunk at their wedding. 
A few months later the police appear at their house, guided 
by the man's wife from France. It seems he is an escaped 
convict whose deserted wife revenges herself by getting 
him sent back to prison. Lucia's wedding had so affected 
Leon that he fell sick with brain fever. When he recovers 
he determines to seek restoration of his health by a trip 
to Europe. Meeting Lucia accidentally he is about to 
refer to her misfortunes when she tells him that she is 
going to sail to Europe to join her husband called there 
because his aged mother was dying. Such indifference 
and levity of mind in Lucia puts an end to Leon's infatua- 
tion. When he reaches home he discovers that he is 
really in love with Cruzita, an orphan girl whom his 
mother had brought up. To marry her he postpones 
indefinitely his European trip. 

Th^ interes ting pictures of native life, the carnival, 
parties, dances, th e fash ionable Progres o club, t he su mme r 
sports, the wedding, are drawn from reality wuth a master 
hand. Ocantos applied his descriptive talent to the com- 


position of a series of novels which now numbers a long 

list of titles. They treat the many phases of life in the 

Argentine metropolis. The important one of immigration, 
especially of Italians, receives due consideration, notably 
in one of the latest novels El Peligro, 191 1. 

The peculia rities of society in Buenos Aires from the fem - 
inine standpoint found an excellent interpretation in Stella^ 


published anonymously in 1905 hy "Cesar Dua ycn," who 
aftcnvar d proved to be a well-kn o wn la dy, Emma de 
la Bar ra. The keennes s of observation displayed in this 

book, the accuracy of its details of wealthy families, and 
its pathos awakene d a justly merited interest. WHile" 
the story does not deal specifically with the question of 
the mingling of races in Argentina, the fact that its heroine, 
Alcjandra Fussier, is the daughter of a Norwegian scientist 
who had married into a prominent family touches the 
problem. The child of the south had been unable to with- 
stand the climate of the cold north' and had died leaving 
two daughters. The novel opens with the arrival at her 
rich uncle's house of Alejandra bearing her little sister 
Stella, whose lower limbs are paralyzed. Her father had 
never returned from a scientific expedition to the Arctic. 
According to his instructions in that event she had come 
to Buenos Aires. Having inherited her father's talent, 
being well educated and showing in her disposition the 
northern strain in her blood, Alejandra proved very at- 
tractive to the men of the household, especially to Maximo, 
the bachelor brother of her uhcle's wife, because she was 
such a contrast to the native women. Moreover, her 
womanly qualities in caring devotedly for the crippled 
Stella irresistibly drew the man of the world to her side. 
Maximo began to devote almost as much attention to 
Stella as Alejandra herself. Consequently when the poor 
child died, it was easy for Alejandra to accept Maximo's 
offer of marriage. 

Conditions on the estancias and in the country villag es 
have also formed the subject of nulnerous s ketchcs„anq. 

tales. Their realistic details lend them both .-trrrarrion ,. 



and power, though the author's choice of episode is often , 
gruesome and sometime s revolti ng. \Roberto J. Payro, 
Martiniano P. Leguizamon, Manuel Ugarte, Godofredo 
Dairea ux, and Carlos Octavio Bunge have practiced^ itli "I 
success this type of literature. Bimge-aftd—Ufiaite have ^| 

also attracted attention as essayists on ma tters of litera ture 
,^nd public aiFairs. 

The latest novels to win praise are La Gloria de Don 
Ramirez, 191 1, by Enrique Rodriguez Larreta, which in 
most excellent style reconstructs a historical epoch of 
the Middle Ages in Spain; and La Novela de Torquato 
Mendez by Martin Aldeo, 191 2. The latter is another 
study of wealthy society in Buenos Aires, and is spec ially 
recommended to those who wish to obtain a conception. 

of the great cosmopolitan metropolis of th e southern 



In studyinp; the l iterary productions of the Repu biica 
Oriental do Urupuay it is well to hear in mind the adjec- 
tivc in the oHicial n ame of this co untry. It remains from, 
the K)cal term of Banda Oriental applied to the re g ion 
before its establishment as an independent republic. 
After the strugpl g ^^ith S pain the emperor of Bra zil l aid 
claim to the countn,', but the political question was sett led^ 
at the battle of Ituzaingo, where troops from Buenos 
Aires assisted. The capital, Montevideo, situated on the 
eastern side of the estuary^ of La Plata is a sister c ity to 
the capital of the Argentine Republic. Their intellectual 
life has been similar and their literary^ productions have 
apj^eared in the journals of either city according as po lit- 

/ ical exigencies have dictated the resid ence of the author. 
Again their material wealth is based on the same indus- 

tncs, cattle and grain, so that conditions of life are much , 


e same. 

^rhe pa triarch of letters in Uruguay w^as FrnnriQm 
Acurla de P'igueroa (1790-1862). ^ He was a monarchist, 
educated by the Jesuits, and hij earliest verses were 
satires against the colonists who were fighting for in- 
Jependence. When they were successful he h ad to take 
refuge in Brazil. Later he was permitted to return. How 
well he became reconciled, is evident from the truly pa- 


triotic inspiration of the national hymn of which he Is 

the author. His popularity as a literary man brought 

him such positions as treasurer general, director of the 
national library, and censor of theaters. 

His verses, composed in the classic forms, sonnets, 
letrillas, odes, canciones, and decimas, fill twelve volumes 
in the collected edition of 1846, so arranged according 
to the explanation of the author, as to afford the reader 
an agreeable variety of matter. There is a little of all 
sorts, political, religious, praise of the bull-fight, con- 
gratulations on family events or election to ofiice, epi- 
grams on current gags, anecdotes or scandals. In explain- 
ing the liking of the Uruguayans for the poet, F. Bauza ^ 
says: — "There is something local, characteristic, and pecul- 
iarly ours in his style, in his turns of expression, in all he has 
produced. On his pages may be observed the reflection 
of what is most habitual with us and what we like best." 
fit was natural that Acuiia de Figueroa should be__an 
opponent of the romantic school. So when the Argentine 

leaders of that school, Echeverrla, M i tre, F. Varela, R rvera 
f Indarte, Marmol, were refugees in Montevideo abo ut 
1844, he turned his sharp wit upon them. He satirized 
their pecul iarities in a mock epic , entitled La Malam- 
brunada, divided in three cantos. It relates the war 
which some old women begin in envy upon the young 
women. The first canto describe^the congress of witches 
presided over by Satan before whom Malambrunada 
argues her case seeking their asslsta*nce. In the second 
canto the old women assemble under different standards. 
Falcomba strives to obtain the chief command. Voted 
■ F. Bauza, Esludios Literarios. 


down shf opposes tlu- plan to niarcli at nl};ht am! surprise 
tlu" youn^. I lu- (pustion Ining n-ftrrccl to a council of 
thirty they approve the plan. The scene of the third 
canto shifts to the young women. Venus has resolved 
that they shall not be surprised. So she urges them to 
choose a leader and prepare their forces. They elect 
Violante to whom is given as a badge of authority a crown 
of laurel interspersed with rubies. When Cupid sees her, 
he cries out that she is more bewitching than Psyche. 
Accordingly the old women fail in surprising the young 
and when the armies meet in a plain, Venus guides Vio- 
lante and her escort to the place where Malambrunada 
has taken her stand. The old leader is beaten and killed. 
The rest of the old women flee into a swamp where Satan 
hides them by turning them into croaking frogs. In this 
satire on the quarrel between the classicists and the 
romanticists, the poet, to be sure, gives the victory to the 
latter, but he makes their exaggerations and mannerisms 
ridiculous by imitating their style and fantastic episodes. 

While humor and Andalusian salt may predo minate_ 
in the verses ol Acuna de Figueroa, it would be wrong to 

suppose that he was incapable of a more elevated strain. 
Few poems have been written more heart-stirring than 
La Afadrr africana whose purpo se was to put an end to 
tKir .African slave trade, at least that part of it which was 

carried on in the ship Ag uila flying th e flag o f Uruguay. 
Very nobly and simply expressed are the feelings of the 
woman who sees herself robbed of husband and children. 
Very scornful are the words of the poet referring to the 
"bravos who proclaim liberty and make slaves." 

In spite of ridicule the young men in Montevideo fol-^ 




lowed the romantic order. The first in point of time was 
Adolfo Berro (1819-41). The amount and quality of 
his work is all the more remarkable on account of the 
shortness of his life. His sympathies are with the fallen" 
and the downcast, the grief-stricken of all kinds. And 
true to the example of his master, Echeverria, he sought 
also to exploit the pnetir in native lifp, n^ in rhp b^^llnd of^ 
Yand ubayu and Liropeya. The young Indian and the 
Spaniard Carvallo are wrestling in sport. When the 
maiden Liropeya reminds her lover that he must that 
day fight for her possession with certain of her suitors, 
he desists from the sport. The Spaniard then treacher- 
ously kills him in order to make love to the maid. She 
indignantly rejects his advances, then suddenly consents 
to follow him if he will dig a grave for Yandubayu. While 
the Spaniard is digging, she gets possession of his sword. 
After he has finished his task and come for her, she kills 
herself, bidding him to open another grave. 
The same legend was used by Pedro P. Bermudez 
_ (1816- 60) who turned it into a lyric drama. A/ Lfiafrntti- 
in five acts and in verse which was produced w ith very 
great success in Montevideo. The title was derived from 

the name of the tribe of aborigines found by the Spaniards 
at their arrival in Uruguay. Some of their peculiar qual- 
ties, stubborn courage, taciturnity, and reserve, they 
bequeathed with the strain of their blood to the present 
inhabitants of that region. Hence the poetic appeal met 
with a certain atavistic response in the hearers of the 
drama. The action, laid in 1573, is slight, so that the pro- 
duction might better be termed a dramatic poem! ThV* 

youth Abayuba adores the maid Lirompeya. Her father, 



Zapicnn, is willing t(^ prant luiii lu-r hand as soon as the 
lail has Jrivtii rhi' Spaiiianls from the country. He calls 
together the chiefs who ciecicie on war. Act three is dc- 
voteil to the farewells of the lovers, in act four the 
Spanish captain Carvallo challenges Ahayuba, but by 
guile he gets him as well as the maid Lirompeya into his 
power. Ihe latter resists the captain's advances even 
though he announces to her the torture of her lover in 
prison. In act five Lirompeya succeeds in getting hold 
of Car^allo's dagger. Ahayuba breaks from his prison 
and finds his beloved. After a love scene, she strikes 
herself with the dagger and hands it to the young man 
who follows her example by killing himself. 

In lyric poetry- the most successful romantic was Juan 
Carlos Gomez (1820-84). There is a personal note in 
his lin es undoubtedly derived from ._the.3d£is'^"^"^<^'= f^f 
his life. One fe els that he is sincere when he sings his 
ho mesickness or rails at the evil of the world. H e was 
by profession a lawyer, but during his many proscriptions 
from his native country he earned his living by journalis- 
tic work. He was one of the group who carried the roman- 
tic movement to Chile and was employed as a writer for 
the Mirrcurio of Santiago from 1S45 to 1852. When he 
returned to his home he engaged in politics only to be 
obliged shortly to flee to Buenos Aires. There he became 
one of the leading journalists possessed of a trenchant, 
epigrammatic style quite in contrast with the vague, 
mournful tone of his verses. But he was not beloved in 
Montevideo, because he long waged a press campaign 
in favor of annexing the Banda Oriental to the Argentine 



In spite of his sufferings at the hands of political tyrants, 

Gomez did not break forth in vituperation like Marmol, 
but expressed his emotion s in poetical metapho r. La Nube 
is an example of this. In this poem he inquires of the 
cloud: — "Why weep upon the earth that does not deserve 
ft.'' Its perfumes serve only to cover its evil." In many 
poems he finds comparisons between his personality and 
the sea, the sea that he had crossed so often, as a fugitive. 
He put himself also in a legend in six cantos dealing with 
an old man, Figueredo, who hates to see Uruguay under 
the domination of Brazilians. To the accompaniment 
of his guitar he sings to stir up his sons to a desire for 
emancipation. Finally he throws away the instrument, 
urging them to fight. Unfortunately in the first encounter 
through the fall of his horse the old man is taken prisoner 
and his sons are unable to rescue him. When he is lib- 
erated and permitted to return to his country, in a long 
apostrophe he refuses to do so because it is under the 
domination of Brazil. 

Of the same period as Gomez but with decided class- 
ical leanings were Bernardo Prudencia Berro (1803-68), 
at one time president of the republic who met his d eath^* 
leading a revolution; Enrique de Arrascaeta a correct but 
cold rhymster; and Francis X. de Acha (1828-88 ). "'*' 

While the Argentines were pouring ou t their diatrib es 
against the tyrant Rosas, the Uruguayans found material 
for the drama in his rule. Francis X. de Acha wrote m 

verse Una Victima de Rosas, then La Fusion, produced 
in 1 85 1, the story of two friends separated by the civil 
war. Acha was a journalist and editor of El Molinillo, a 
satirical sheet. To this and to other papers he contrib- 


uted many verses of a r*)inanfic type protesting against 
the civil war aiul various social evils. The fun-loving 
strain of his nature led him also to write comedies. Bromas 
caseras depicts in three acts the torments suffered by the 
husband of a jealous wife. In 1877 was represented his 
romantic drama, Como empieza acaba. Federico tricks 
Magdalena, the daughter of his partner, into marriage 
during the absence of her lover Carlos, who had been sent 
to Havana on business. Carlos, on his return, is found 
making love to the lady by her husband. They tight 
and Federico dies. But Magdalena refuses to marr>', 
preferring the convent. 

Another drama concerning Rosas, Camila O'Gorman, 
was written by Heraclio C. Fajardo (1S33-67) and pro- 
duced in 1856, with great success. This dealt with a 
particularly notorious act, the execution of a priest named 
Gutierrez and a woman, Camila O'Gorman. In the play 
a platonic affection is shown to exist between Camila 
and the priest who is her piano teacher. A mutual friend, 
Lazaro, is arrested as a conspirator against Rosas. To 
save their friend's life by pleading with the tyrant, they 
go together to his house. Rosas is smitten with violent 
desire at the sight of Camila's beauty. During a momen- 
tary absence of the former, the friends refer their case to 
Manuelita, Rosas* angelic daughter. She promises to save 
Lazaro but warns that only flight can save Camila's virtue 
from the base purposes of her father. Act four discloses 
Gutierrez, Lazaro, and Camila free but in the act of 
conspiring against Rosas. A certain Ganon who is him- 
self in love with Camila leads the police to their resort. 
All escape the raid except Camila, but she is rescued later 


by her friends. The love between Gutierrez and Camila 
ceases to be platonic. Gano'n betrays their whereabouts 
to the police. Arrested, they are shot according to the 
orders of Rosas in spite of the pleadings of Manuelita. 

Cursing Rosas in imitation of Marmol was also a poetic 
diversion of Fajardo, but he did not do it quite so well as 
his master. In other ways he won a reputation as a poet. 

He won the gold medal in the certamen of 1858 by an ode 
on Avierica y Colon. Two years later he published a long 
/^oem occupying over a hundred printed pages. La Cruz de^ 
Azabache and in 1862 a volume of collected verse, Arenas 
del Uruguay. The long poem treats the love affai rs of a 
poet, Helio by name. After a series of women. Ana. Maria, 
Yola who deceives him, he meets Vitalia. The last he is 
obliged to leave in order to take part in the war. As a 
remembrance he takes with him a "cross of jet." Little 
results from his participation in the war though he is 
constantly dreaming of Vitalia. In the meantime, Yola 
writes a lying letter to Vitalia saying all manner of evil 
about Helio, among other things that he had left her. The 
poem concludes with the death of Vitalia distressed by 
the vision of a battle field on which vultures devour the 
corpse of Helio. 

The greatest figure in Uruguayan letters is undoubt edly 
Alejandr o Magannos Cervantes (182^-9;;). At the ag e 
of twenty he was connected with the legation in Brazil. 
A year later he started for Euro pe. While still a student 
in Madrid he published his first novel. La Estrella del Sur, 
which he had written in part during his voyage from 
America. This was followed by two plays, Percances 
matrimoniales and Amor y P atria. In 1852 he gave to the 



world his poetic legend Cfliar to which he owed his great- 
est fame. On somewhat similar lines was written in prose 
Caramuru, his best novel. In 1855 he returned to Uruguay 
where during the remainder of his life he enjoyed various 
public offices among which were those of rector of the 
university and senator. 1 he volumes of collected verse, 
Br is as del Plata, 1S64, and P almas y OmbueSy 1884, 
were distinguished by their intense patriotism and local 

The scene of Cellar is laid on a ranch belonging to Don 
Diego Sandoval, father of a pretty daughter. The social 
conditions are those of the eighteenth centur}\ Don Juan 
de Altamira is the commander and tyrant of the town 
near the ranch. He makes love to Isabel, but her head 
and heart have no place for him, because the handsome 
and dashing gaucho, Celiar, fills them. She even snubs 
the proud Spaniard, who then pretends to give her up 
to his rival. Three days before their projected wedding 
there is brought to Celiar a letter asking him to come to 
the bedside of a dying uncle who had been a father to 
him in his childhood. Celiar sets out by moonlight, but 
well on the way his party is surprised by "Indians," 
of whom Don Juan is the leader. Don Juan stabs Celiar 
three times. Nobody dares denounce this act because 
the Spaniard is the legal representative of the king of 
Spain. He himself, however, is somewhat uneasy because 
Celiar's corpse disappeared. Another victim of Altamira 
is then introduced to the reader, a maid, Emilia. When 
she dies in child-birth her betrothed promises to avenge 
her wrongs <m the !>paniard. So he flees to the Charruas, 
who at the moment are ravaging the white settlements 


under a mysterious cacique Toluba. He is really Celiar. 
The band descends upon the village where Don Juan com- 
mands and Celiar kills him. But Celiar and Isabel, who 
are both injured, die in each other's arms. 

Celiar is a novel in verse, written for the public in Ma- 
drid. Consequently the poet was obliged to make ex- 
planations of conditions, which mars the flow of his nar- 
rative. In Caramurtl, however, prose allows the author 
greater liberty of expression. 

Caramuru is a gaucho, who has carried oflF Lia, the 
daughter of a city lawyer, to save her from marrying a 
man whom she dislikes. Moreover, he had saved her 
life from a wild beast so that she has fallen in love with 
him, but he maintains her in platonic affection, in a 
covert in the woods. After her flight with him, Caramuru 
enters a drinking place where other gauchos are discussing 
the mysterious event. One of them remarks significantly 
that he knows the abductor and the whereabouts of the 
young woman. Caramuru fights with him and kills him. 
When the other gauchos pursue the assassin through the 
night, he eludes them by dropping off his horse, which 
goes racing on, leading the pursuers far astray. Under 
the name of Amaro our gaucho enters the service of a rich 
Brazilian. In time he asks his employer to loan him a 
large sum of money. The Brazilian promises him a large 
reward, if Amaro will obtain a horse that can win a cer- 
tain race. Now Amaro is aware that an Indian cacique 
possesses an exceedingly swift horse, so he proceeds to 
his camp. By a little trickery, by frightening the Indians 
by big medicine, he succeeds in getting away with the 
horse. When the day of the race is at hand the Indian 



horse Dayman has for its only serious cpmpctito^, a n«)ble 
animal, Atahualpa. 1 he descripf^on of thi- horse race 
forms one of the most spiritt<u passJi^^^s in the book. 
Atahualpa exerts himself to tlieutmost, Cve/i bursting 
a blix)d vessel and falling close to mrgq^il/ A^Amaro 
, , races by on Dayman, he isN<;cognized h^' a soldier as the 
II fugitive CaramurU;^_The latteNisN/irned irV time and 
again escapes by /means of the speedyhn4''^n horse. Soem 
after he learns that his Hidden damseU^s the daughter of 
Don Carlos Nigt*^4^\\ horn he owesjils life. Consequently, 
he br^lgs her back to^hir fatj^fr. This/gives rise to 
fight between Don Alvatt>::^£jtapcb>\/to whom Liaytsas 
engaged, and Caramuru. They ra«:t ijfi single cmnbat 
at the (vattle of ItuzamgcT \\-l>eTe Ca/amuru >^ves his 
adversar>' a^mortal-^^^nd.^^^s Don/AlvaroJies dying in 
Caramuru's presence he aiscov&rs/that the latter is his 
half brother, an illegitimate son^m" his own father. With ^ 
his dying words he blesses the love of Caramurii for Lia. 

Criticism has been made that this love affair during 
its existence in the forest was too platonic for reality. 
However that may be, Magarifios Cervantes has succeed ed 
in presenting an excellent pi cture of gaucho life and its 
ideals, love making, drinking, fighting and horse racing. 


.^o other man so comple tely dominates and incarnates 

the spirit of Uruguayan liter ature bet ween 1840 and 187Q. 

Therefore his admirers taking their cue from the identity 
of name are fond of referring to the author as the "C^r- 

, v antes criollo." 

In 1865 there was published in Montevideo La Revista 

liuraria \n which appeared the verses of M elcho r PachecQ. 
y Qbes and Laurindo Lapucnte. Th e former were givea. 


to the world by his widow. Their tone was melancholy 
and sentimental and are well exemplified by the poem 
A una Cruz en medio del Campo which Magarifios Cer- 
vantes included in his excellent Album de Poesias urugu- 
ayas. It is like life this lonely cross and grave, according 
to the poet. 

In contrast to Pacheco, Lapuente forgets himself in 
an exalted praise ot liberty and America, and his heroes 
I'Szn Mar tin and Bolivar. I n ringing verse he put such 
sentiments as this: — "Land of hope was America for the 
human race. In her heart God put a treasure more pre- 
cious than the metal of her mines, which Spain filched 
from her — liberty." 

These two poets terminate the first period of romantic 
poetry in Uruguay. After them the intensely personal note 
IS greatly modified, for their successors in the next decade 

believed that poetry h ad a mission to put religion and ; 
philosophy within the r each of the people. Moreover, 
the younger generation were solicitous of form. 

Of poets who came into notice during the seventies 

there are deserving of m ention Washingto n P. Rermil dez,' 
born in 1847, the son of Pedro P. Bermudez, Victorian o E. 
Montes, Joaquin de Salterain, a well-known physician, 
^ and Antonio Lussich. Th e last was only one of a number 
of minor writers cherishing the tradition of the gaucho 
verse. , As an exponent of gau rhn lifprafiirf> Orncn^n 
^ Moratorio (1852-98) dist i nguished himself in numer ous 
ephemeral dramas. The most attractive at this distance 
of the poets in the above group is Montes. His Tejedora 
de iianduti, the country lass who rejects the city wooer, 
touches the heart just as El Tamhor de San Martin, the 


old soklier who recollects thr glories of the war for in- 
dependence, arouses enthusiasm. 

Washington P. Bermudez first attracted attention by 
reciting a heroic ode of his own composition, Gloria a los 
BravoSy referring to the successful defenders of Paysandu 
in the war with Brazil. But he could also write witty 
and satirical lines as shown by his compositions in the 
political journal, El Negro Timoteo. His greatest literary 
fame, however, like that of his father, rests upon a histori- 
cal drama, Artigas. As a patriotic appeal to the Uru- 
guayans this career of their national hero presented in 
four acts and many scenes with a final hymn to the na- 
tional colors was a triumph. Though Bermudez wrote 
other plays none met with like success. 

Another dramatist dealing wit h the period of revolution 
was hstenilaso Perez Nieto in A p arjeikci^^ y Hfn.Udadi'i. 
The patriotic sentiments in his drama ar e, how^ever. 
incidental to the main action. This is laid in the camp of 
the famous "Thirty-three," that devoted band under the 
leadership of Lavalleja who demanded from Brazil in 
1825 either liberty or death, and won the former. In 
the play the villain Carlos in order to ruin his rival Alberto 
brings the Portuguese into the camp in such wise as 
to throw suspicion on him. At the same time Carlos has 
secreted in Alberto's tent a young girl whom he himself 
had seduced and then brings upon the scene Elena, Al- 
berto's fiancee. But both the Portuguese and the young 
girl accuse Carlos so that Alberto is cleared of the suspicion 
of treacher}- and reunited to his fiancee. This play greatly 
pleased the public of 1 877. 

Xhe notion that poetry had a definite idealistic mission 


had its stronghold in the society known as the "Ateneo 

del Urugua y." In its public meetings the veteran poet 
Arrascaeta announced the holy liberty of humanity; 
Luis Melian Lafinur cursed tyrants; and Jose G. Del 
Busto in his odes A Grecia, A Polonia, El Ideal, hurled 
Tyrtaean strophes at a people crushed under a despotic 
dictator. His epic romance El Ultimo de los Treinta y 
Tres, a cry of indignation at the neglect of the last 
of these heroes dying in poverty, received great ap- 
plause. Del Busto is the interpreter of the ideas and 
conscience of his country just before the revolution of 

During this same period romanticism in Uruguay re- 
ceived an original bent from a poet vvho stands alon e^nr 

his class and manner. Juiin Zorrilia de San Martin, 

born in Montevideo in 1857, was sent to study in the 

University of Santiago de Chile. He returned home in" 
1877 with a printed volume of verses bearing the title of 
Notas de un Himno whose themes were mainly faith and 
love. He then began work on the masterpiece of Uru- 
guayan literature, the long poem Tabare, which he read 
in sections to the public as fast as it was written. When 
finally published it was composed of six cantos and 
more than forty-five hundred lines. At such length the 
poet recited the tragic love of Tabare, the half breed 
Charrua Indian, whose Spanish mother had taught him 
to kiss the cross. The soft blue eyes of the mother, now 
dead, who used to sing to him, haunted his memory. So 
when brought a prisoner to the stockade of the whites he 
fell violently in love with Blanca, the sister of the Spanish 
commander, Don Gonzalo. After a while the love-sick 


Indian is allowed to depart to ins trilx'. He arrives ta 
find that the tribesmen arc eelehratinii the funeral dance 
of their deceaseil caciciiie. A certain ^ aniandu persuades 
them to elect him their chief and then to celebrate his 
election by beginning an attack upon the settlement of 
the whites. Ypni ^ dii is the villain in the trage dy. Me 
also has seen Hlanci and to carry her off is (or him a prime 
reason for the raid. The sava^^cs are successful. From 
the burning houses of the Spanish village Yamandu bears 
Blanca into the recesses of the forest. When Don Gonzalo 
discovers the disappearance of his sister, instantly attribut- 
ing the raid to Tabare, he organizes a posse in pursuit. 
In the meantime Yamandu waits beside the unconscious 
body of Blanca for her to recover from her swoon. Just 
as she opens her eyes she becomes aware of the struggling 
forms of two fighting men. Tabare had followed Yamandu 
and there kills him. Tabare then carries Blanca toward the 
settlement. Don Gonzalo meets them. Rushing at the 
Indian, in ignorance of the truth the Spaniard plunges 
his sword into Tabare's heart. The poor savage is only 
too happy to die as Blanca weeps over him and embraces 
him. In the closing words of the poem: "The Indian is 
silent forever, like his race, like the desert, a tongueless 
mouth, a heavenless eternity." 

Comparison of Tabare' with Longfellow's Iliazvatha has 
occurred to many, but there is little similarity either in 
subject-matter or the spirit of the two poems. Critics 
almost scoffing at the possibility of so sentimental a savage 
have raised the question also of the likelihood of such 
a character as Tabare. But Valera concludes his remarks 
on the poem with an ingenious argument in favor of its 


probability, because he believes in the all-compelling 
power of love. 

The style in which the author has written is described 
by Valera^ thus. After stating that Zorrilla de San Martin 
belongs to the school of Becquer, he says: — "The new 
thing in Juan Zorrilla is that, although Tabare is a narra-' 

tion, in part of it he narrates and almost does not narrate: 

The poem seems a beautiful series of lyrics in which the ~ 
action gradually unfolds. When the pe rsonages speak, 
one remains in doubt whether it is they speaking or the 
poet in whose spirit are brightly reflected the feelings anH'^~~ 
ideas which the personages have in a vague manner." 

At the time when Zorrilla de San Martin was beginning 
his great poem Tabare, occurred the dedication of a 
monument to Uruguayan independence in the Plaza de 
la Florida. Zorrilla de San Martin was called upon to write 
a poem befitting the occasion. He read his ode La Leyenda 
Patria which won the greatest applause ever given to a 
similar bit of literature and which since that day has 
been declaimed till people are tired of it. Somewhat 
classical in form and slightly reminiscent of Olmedo, the 
ode develops the poet's ideas in pictures and visions of 
his country's history. He sees the country prostrate 
under the invader, the heroism of the Thirty-three, the 
great battles of Sarandi and Ituzaingo and the possibilities 
of the future. 

The publication of Tabare brought its author such fame 
that he was sent to Europe firs t as envoy to the HoTy~lSr e--* 
-and th en as minister to France and ^ain. He has pub- 
lished his impressions of travel in Resonancias del Camino. 
' J. Valera, Cartas americanas, 2a serie. 


Lately he gave to the world a historical monograph, La 
Epopfxa d<r Jrtigas, written in poetic style. 

After the passing of the romantic epoch the composj- 
^tion of verse developed as elsewhere from Becquer to 
the decadent school. Luis Pineyro del Campo began pub- 
lishing verses as early as 1875, ^^^ his finest work ap- 
peared much later. El Ultimo Gaucho is a long poem 
descriptive of country- life in which the contrast between 
the new conditions and the old is made artistically mani- 
fest. The grandfather sits by as the cart is being loaded 
to depart for the day's work. He had been a soldier and 
taken part in the great events of the past. To see his 
grandsons engaging in such labor and enjoying the fruits 
of peace makes him weep. After the cart is gone he falls 
into a delirium in which he rehearses his deeds, and de- 
mands his horse and lance. As the locomotive on the 
railway whistles and rumbles by the old man dies, a 
symbol of the primitive life fast yielding before the prog- 
ress of civilization. 

Rafael Fragueiro at the time of the publication of his 

yJftTS t volume of poems, RecuerUos Fiejos, 1SS7, posed zs 

the poet of poets attempting to practice in life the exag- 

_£e rati ons and artificialities which he put into his verses. 
He was the first be cquerista. After a romantic marriage 
he went to Buenos Aires, where he became a professor 
and forgot the production of verse for a time. When he 
began writing again it was in the prevailing decadent 

In Buenos Aires lives another poet and prof essor of 

.Uruguaya n birthj^ Vi ctor Arregtiine. He began rhyming 
in the becquerista manner, but his l atcit poems we re in 


the style of Verlaine. The title of one of the best, La Vejet 

de Venus, is suggestive of its character, decadent, artificial, 
polished and beautiful. 

_More national in char ac ter were the p oems of San- 
tiago Maciel (bom 1867). His first volume, Auras prima- 
verales, 1884, contained a notable poem on the war be- 
tween Chile and Peru. In 1893, he published El Flor del 
Trebol, a long poem redolent of Uruguayan fields. The 
first canto describes the happiness of a country lass in 
love. She is rudely awakened from her dream by the 
call to arms which takes her lover away. The second 
canto recites various incidents that occurred during the 
days of his presence and whose recollection cheers her 
in his absence. The third canto opens with a message 
which she has received from her lover. He tells her that 
a severe fight is impending and that he expects to die. 
One afternoon as she is absorbed in melancholy revery, 
she catches sight of a horseman pursued by another. 
The foremost is her lover, overtaken by his pursuer and 
killed so that he falls at her feet. A poem so characteristic- 
ally national as this is pleasant reading. 

A prolific writer of verse in various manners is Carlos 
Roxlo. He is cla s sed a s an eclectic poet >vith rerninis- 
cences of Becquer and Campoamor, of De Musset and the 
Mexican Flores. This is not surprising because he is a 
thorough student ot lite ratur e, and in this^especT-hrrs 

deserved the greatest praise from all those who love 


Uruguayan letters. His Ilistoria critica de la Literaiura 
uruguaya is a monumental work. 

The only other person who has treated the same sub- 
jects is Francisco Bauza whose essays Estudios Liierari os7 


were really incidental to his main inttTcst, the political 
_ history of Urugua y. He wrote also a few poems an d was 
noted as an orator. 

The development of the novel in Uruguay owes some- 

^ thing to Carlos Mar ia Ramirez (P-i SgS ), import ant in 

the history of his country as a lawyer, publicist, orator 

and politician. His Amores de Maria is a romantic story, 

while the unfinished tale Los Palmares is redolent of 
Uruguayan fields and perhaps set the example for later 
novelists who picked their themes from national events. 

Asociated with Ramirez, at le ast in exile, was the great- 
est of Urugu ayan novelis ts, Eduardo Acevedo Diaz. 

Attacking the government in 1875 w ith trenchant pen 
for Its attitude toward the freedom of the press, he was 
arrested and banished. In his place of refuge, Buenos 
Aires, he produced his first novel, Brenda, which remained 
his own favorite and has a wider appeal than his more 
powerful nationalistic tales. The general plan of Brenda 
is romantic in type, but the story abounds in realistic 

The title is derived from the name of the heroine of the 
novel. She is the adopted daughter of the rich Senora 
de Nerva, who desires that Brenda should become the 
wife of her physician, Doctor Lastener de Selis. But 
Brenda is in love with Raul Henares. This gallant young 
man had saved the life of a certain Areba Linares who 
thereupon had fallen in love with her savior. Conse- 
quently she assists the Senora de Nerva in her efforts to 
marry Brenda to Doctor De Selis, by disclosing a fact of 
which she had been an eyewitness, namely, that Raul 
Henares was the unknown man who during the last civil 



war had killed the colonel Pedro Delfor, Brenda's father. 
Even this disclosure has little effect on Brenda's feelings 
either toward her lover or toward De Selis whom she 
hates because he had refused to attend professionally on 
her dying mother. In spite of the Seiiora de Nerva, the 
lovers continue to communicate through the negro gar- 
dener Zambique, whose faithfulness unto death forms 
one of the most pathetic and interesting episodes of the 
story. The great obstacle to the lovers' complete happi- 
ness is removed by the death of the doctor in a duel with 
a friend of Raul. Then Senora de Nerva dies of her 
chronic malady. And after a year of mourning, Brenda 
and Raul are married. 

Acevedo Diaz returned from exile in time t o take p a_rt 
in the important affair in 1886, known as the revolution 

of yuebracho. The resu lt being d isastrous fo r hjs garty 
he again took refuge in Buenos Aires._._His experie nces of 

campaigning as a rebel he app lied in writing a series of 
semi-historical novels de aling with thp nHvpntnrf^s cf ^^ 
family during the wars f or independence won at Sarandi, 
in 1825. The fi rst of these, Ismael, was published in 1888, 
followed by Nativa and then by El Grito de Gloria. 

The shortest of these is Nativa which is little more than 
one episode taken from the series making up the whole 
story. Nata and Dora are sisters, girls from the city 
living on the estancia of the "Three Ombues." On this 
estate is a ruined house where Jose Maria Beron, a patriot 
officer wounded by the Portuguese, has taken refuge. 
Being young and a hero he is very interesting to the girls. 
He prefers Nata, which fact so oppresses Dora that she 
commits suicide by drowning herself in a pool. Shortly 



thereafter the Portuguese approach so that Nata is 
oblipcd to depart, leaving her woiiiulcd lover among the 
troops who occupy the estancia. 1 his young officer is a 
leading character in El Grito de Gloria. He meets death 
heroically at the battle of Sarandi from where his corpse 
is carried to be interred beside Dora. 

The strength of this trilogy of novels consists not only 
^irTTKe vivid pictur es of landscapes and manners, but also 
in the characterization, wherein the author approaches 

the contemporary naturalism of Carl os Reyles. In fact 
in discussing the trilogy one must consider the personages 
rather than the plots. Ismael is the personification of 
the gaucho of the period with his bravery, vices, crimes 
and prejudices as he contributed to the foundation of 
Uruguayan nationality. Cuaro, the Charrua Indian, is 
a type taken from nature. Another clement of this varie- 
gated society is exemplified by the half-breed girl, Jacinta, 
who rides with the soldiers, furnishing them with female 
companionship, cooking their meals, fighting among them 
like a man, and dying a heroic death in protecting the 
body of Jose Maria after his fall. 

The significance of Ismael as a work of art is set forth 
by the eminent journalist Alberto Palomeque, an asso- 
ciate of Acevedo Diaz in his first exile. His publication 
of the review Fida Modcrna was a real service to Urugua- 
yan letters. In the issue for May, 1901, he says: "Ismael 
is a hymn to blood. On every page is breathed hatred and 
blood. The author believes that in the shedding of blood 
is the law of all human progress. In this book is the ex- 
planation of all our misfortunes. A society founded in 
hatred, in slaughter, in blood, in violation of the family, 


in attacks on property, in terror imposed by a vulgar 
caudillo who is master of lives and estates, must continue 
to suffer." And in similar vein concerning Soledad, the 
last novel by Acevedo Diaz, he continues. "Soledad is 
the mistress of her father's murderer. Thus from an 
assassin springs the germ of native society. Soledad 
will have children by a bandit. On every side blood, 
crimes, seduction, children of assassins. Our nationality 
will have for basis crime, vagabondage and unstable abode, 
a sad heritage." 
When the naturalistic movement reached Uruguay, 

the example of Acevedo Diaz directed attention to the 

gaucho and country life in general as a source for novels 

and tales. Manuel Bern ardez, born ij67x was one.ofxhe 
first to publish excellent realistic stories. Mateo Mar- 

garinos Solsoiia wrote not only short storie s but prac- 

^ticed the novel. His Las Hermanas Flammary appearing 
in 1893 followed the methods of Zola almost to the point 
of direct imitation. Through the efforts of her mother, 
Elvira Flammary is married to Mauricio Castaigne, but 
her older sister is more attractive. Margarita's marriage, 
however, fails to materialize, so she casts envious eyes 
upon her sister's complaisant husband. Elvira's illness 
favors the denouement, and as the illness develops into a 
chronic malady after the mother's death, the household 
settles down into a three-cornered affair. Another practi- 
tioner of the realistic tale was Javier de Viana. His 
gauchos are degenerate sons and his women vile creatures. 
The master of these nat nr.-^ljst. '^ 's iindn nhredly -Cnrl ns ^ 
eyles . Living on a vast cattle ranch which he inherited, 
hg found time not only to develop his property scientific- . 


ally but also to im itate tin- literary methods of the Frpnrh 
and Spanish novelists w hom he admired. Beba, which 
he puhHsKc d in 1S94, marked a new path in the literature 
t>f Urugua y. The action of tm^sto^y,^bc§i^^s at the Estancia 
of El Embrion. ItV^oyncr, Gustavo Ribera, is a rWormer 
in the methods of apnculture. So many are his innova- 
tions, such as the substitution of iron plows for the old 
wm)den ones, the use of horse rakes and tractor engines, 
scientific treatment of drying fodder, that his peons think 
him crazy. He is specially interested in classifying his 
cattle and in unproving the breed. Growing up on the 
estate is his dead sister's child Beba. When she arrives 
at a marriageable age she marries Rafael Benavente, a 
broker in the city. Living there bores her as much as 
her husband's mode of life for he is indolent, without 
ambition, and given to drink and the pursuit of pleasure. 
By and by the couple visit the estancia. Rafael to cure 
his tnnui keeps soaked with liquor, but Beba rejoices at 
every moment spent in the open. She passes her time 
with her uncle whose manly strength and skill she admires 
to the disadvantage of her husband. One day she falls 
in with an old woman who tells her the secret of her birth, 
a love child. The phrase works in her mind till in a mo- 
ment of mad adoration she gives herself to Gustavo. 
I he weak husband merely cries when he hears the facts 
from his wife's mouth. The lovers continue on the farm 
for a time. One day Gustavo in Beba's presence angrily 
kills his best stallion on account of defects in his progeny. 
Soon thereafter Rafael and Beba return to the city. In 
course of time Beba has a child, but it is still bom and a 
monster. The crossing of blood relatives which Gustavo 


had studied so scientifically in his cattle asserts itself as 
a principle of human mating. Beba, remembering the 
scene with the stallion, feels that Gustavo will despise 
her. Consequently she winds a heavy work chain about 
her body and leaps into a deep pool of water. 

R^yles' next production consis ted of three short stories 
on the theme of adultery. Of these Primitivo is the most 
striking in plot. In 1910 he published La Raza de Cain. 
While this novel mainly consists of a study of the base 
spirit of Cacio, the evil habits and manners of a certain 
class of wealthy society are cruelly bared to inspection. 
Cacio is a poor devil whom the rich Arturo Crooker met 
at Lollege. There he bullied him physically and domi- 
neered over him with his money. Their relations continue 
in business, and in society on the same footing. They 
fall in love with the same woman, Laura. Arturo wins 
her. Cacio is like Cain always beaten by Abel and he 
exclaims, "The happiness of others irritates me." One 
day he slips poison into a cup of milk given to Laura and 
stolidly watches her die. 

In the theater the naturalistic movement has been well . 
represented by Samuel BlFxen (i86Q-iQOQ)~and VicTor "^ 
Perez Petit (bom 1871). Blixen's plays bear titles bor- 

rowed from the seasons, Primavera, Otoiio, and Invierno. 
That the names should suggest the development which 
takes place in the characters of the plays is plainly the 
author's intention. In Primavera, the widow Emilia, 
cold of heart, listens to the amorous solicitation of Bona- 
facio with increasing interest till she glows with passion. 
Otoiio was the most successful of the series. In this play 
Maximo, fifty years of age, attempts to win Celeste, a 


maid of forty of angelical character. She hstens, hesitates, 
.md finally consults her yoiinp ncpluw and niece to whom 
she is a foster mother. \\ hen the latter begs her not to go 
away, Celeste refuses the offer of marriage on the ground 
that, by accepting it, she would be a bad mother to the 
children whom she has cared for and taught to love her, 
Ihis play pleased the same public which laughed at In- 
•urno. The principal character of the latter is an old 
man of eighty-four who wishes to marry his granddaughter 
to an individual whom she dislikes. He is brought to 
terms by his aged^wife who makes plain to him that he 
has lost the fortune which made him proud. 

Victor Perez Petit has been a very industrious man 
o f letters in several fi elds. He came into notice through- 
h is literary studies, one of Zola and others publis hed in a 
volume e ntitled Los_Mqdernista s. 1903. concemmg such 
,men as Verlaine, D'Annunzio, Strindberg. Nietzsche, and 

Tolstoi. Then he tried his hand at realistic tales of which 

Gil is the most important. ^It is the study of the reasse r- 
tiun of atavistic instincts in the son of a murderer and 

prostitute. This boy is picked up from the gutter and 
given a home by a wealthy man, but the depravity in his 
nature comes to the surface at the age of puberty when 
he attacks and kills his benefactor's young wife. In 1907, 
Perez Petit published a volume of sonnets, Joyeles Bdr- 
baros, written in apparent imitation of Leconte de LTsle. 
Throughout the decade he wrote plays from time to time 
of which he printed two volumes in 191 2. 

The plays show considerable variety in both theme and 
treatment. Cobarde, for example, is a drama of national 
manners. It concerns Pedro who loves Natividad, the 


daughter of Gil Grajales, a prosperous Spanish immigrant. 
He wishes his daughter to marry Rampli, an Italian, be- 
cause, in his opinion, only foreigners in Uruguay are men 
in that country, where the natives are idle fellows given to 
boasting and singing to the accompaniment of the guitar. 
Just before a party Natividad makes Pedro swear that 
whatever happens he will not fight with her father. When 
Gil sees the despised Pedro dancing with his daughter, he 
interferes with a shower of insults. Pedro draws his 
dagger but Natividad calls on him to keep his oath. Like 
a coward he slinks away. His father Anastasio, however, 
takes up the quarrel and kills Gil. For a time the assassin 
eludes the police. When his whereabouts become known 
to them through the activity of Rampli, Pedro again 
appears on the scene. By fighting the police in a mad 
attempt to free his father, Pedro proves, even though he 
dies in vain, that he is no coward. 

In other plays Perez Pe tit makes adultery the pivot 
about which the action revol ves. El Esclavo-Rey, called 
a comedy, depicts the degradation of a poor clerk who 
not only neglects his family but also steals for his mis- 
tress. Yorick, on the other hand, is a tragedy revealing 
the mental tortures of a pair of adulterers. Yorick is the 
young son of Adelina whose husband, a banker, had com- 
mitted suicide after his bankruptcy. She might have 
saved him the bankruptcy had she used her influence; 
but, knowing his intention to shoot himself, she preferred 
to let him die because she was infatuated with a certain 
Doctor Lazlo. Yorick is sent to Europe to complete his 
education. On his return he finds his mother living in 
Lazlo's house. At first Yorick is not suspicious and even 


makes love to Clara, the doctor's daughter. Ohjcctions 
to his love-making somehow excite his curiosity about his 
mother's position in that house. Though he questions 
her, he learns little till he surprises her and the doctor in 
a compromising situation. Then the truth Hashes upon 
him. ^'orick kn()ws that his father's life might have been 
saved had Lazio loaned him money. So Yorick deter- 
mines to revenge his father by taking advantage of Lazlo's 
great love for Clara. Unless the doctor will instantly go 
out and shoot himself, Yorick will reveal the whole dis- 
graceful story to the daughter. And she is coming to a 
conference directly. LazIo leaves ^'orick. Clara enters. 
NN'hilt she is inquiring for her father, a pistol shot rings out. 
It is significant of the power and or iginality of Uru- 
guayan literature tha t it gave to the mode rni sta move- 
ment not o nly dramatists like Perez Petit and a review so 
excellent as I'ida Moderna, essentially national, however , 
in their meaning, but also that it produced a poet like 
Julio Herrera y Reissig and the critical essavist. Jose 
Enrique Rodo. The poet rose so far ab ove his local sur- 
roundings that t he value of his work was not ful ly appre- 
. ciated until the modernista movement^egan to be studied 
as a whole. And Rodo is u niversally acknowledged by 
V ^ Spanish A mericans as a n intellectual leader. 



From the p oint of view of general education Chile, at 
^he close of the revolution, was one of the most backward 
/^o( the young Americ an republi cs. T he question of filling 
the need for education became a political dispute between 
the party of the oligarchs, supported by the clergy, and 
the liberals. The former composed largely of the adher- 
ents of a few wealthy families have up to the present given 
Chile a more stable government than that enjoyed by the 
other republics; but the liberals have from time to time 
been able to obtain many concessions. With their efforts 
at democratization the history of literature m (Jhiie, no 

less than her poli tical history, is concerned 
In 1828, the liberals hap pening to be in 
promulgated a new constitution . At this t ime there wa sjn 
Chile a remarkable Spaniard, Jose Joaquin de Mora (1 783- 
1864), whose adventurous life led him over South America, 
and whose Leyendas Espafwl as later found an imita tive 
echo in American literature. President Pinto is said to 

have taken his advice in preparing the liberal constitution. 
At any rate he encouraged Mora, made a citizen of the 
republic by special act of Congress, to attempt educational 
reform in Chile by opening a school known as the Liceo 
Nacional de Chile. Mora also defended the interests of 
the liberal party by editing El Mercurio chileno. He estab- 


CHILE 197 

lished a literary society, wrote poems and even produced 
a play, El Marido ambicioso, b ascJ on French models. 
But his ascendency was short lived, for i n 1829 the con- 
servatives return ed to power under the presidency of 
Joaquin Pr ieto and his prime minister^- Diego Portales . 

By them Andres Bcllo was invited to Chile to serve as a 
countenveight to Mora. To Bello was entrusted the 
editorship of the governmen t organ El Jraucano, which 
position Bcllo held for more tha n twenty years. In this 
journal he had ample opportunity to foster an improve- 
ment in the literary taste of the Chilean public. To 
Bcllo's training in education were entrusted the sons of the 

leading familie s. On the o ther hand, Mora's school was 
closed by governmental action and the m an himself drJYfH 
from Chile in 183 1. 

Bcllo's school, El Colegio de Santiago, was held in his 
ovs-n house. He conducted his instruction by original 
methods, graphically described thus by one of the pupils. 
"The study of language was a complete course on philol- 
ogy, which comprised everything from general grammar 
and the history of the Castilian language down to the 
most minute questions of Castilian grammar. The pro- 
fessor followed his ancient custom of writing his texts as he 
taught them. His treatise on conjugation and the most 
interesting chapters of his Spanish grammar were dis- 
cussed in those long pleasant conferences with his pupils. 
He never explained, but conversed, beginning always by 
expounding a question in order to discourse on it to his 
pupils. In these conversations he was the one who talked, 
at the same time almost always smoking a Havana cigar. 

' J. V. Lastarria, Recuerdos liurarios. 



His lecture hall was his library and all his references to 
authors were made by the pupils under the direction of 
the master." 

In this manner were tr ained a body of young men who 
were ready in 1842 to defend their country in a literary 

controversy against the Argen tine journalists wh o had 
taken refuge in Chile. Fleeing from the tyranny of Rosas, 
they had brought with them the spirit of the romantic 
movement in literature taught them by Esteban Eche- 
verria. ,And they did no t hesitate to criticise adverse ly 
the state of Chilean literature. 

The ftrst opportunity for this was oflFered by the-piibli- 
O cation in 1841 of Andres Bel lo's poem El Incendio d e la 
Compania. Inspired by the destruction by fire of the 
principal ^urch left by the Jesuits in Santiago, the poem 
was written in quintillas in the classical style and may be 
accounted one of the most interesting of Bello's minor 
productions. The poet as a spectator of the conflagration 
sees the famous clock in the belfry destroyed, and hears 
its farewell to the city to which "it has counted a whole 
century of time, hour by hour," amid the marvellous 
changes which have occurred during that era. The sight 
of the ruins causes him to express his melancholy regrets 
almost in the words of Jeremiah. 
\ _ The Argentine D. F. Sarmiento in reviewing the p oem 

propoun ded the question, "Why are there no poetTlrT'' 

Chile.'*" He answered it in a second article when discuss- "^ 
ing the foundation of a literary society in May, i^^^?-^ 
by a number of young Chileans, mainly p upils of Bello. 
Sarmiento said that the Chileans lacked poetry, "not 

through inca pacity but on account of the bad tend ency . 


of the ir studies." H erein he referred to Bcll o's gram- 
maticai teaching, for the hitter had opposed a proposition 
of Sarmicnto's that orthography should conforin to pro- 

nunciation, with the statement that young men should 

study good Castilia n model s, so that t heir language might 
not degenerate as among "another American people into 
a Spanish-Gal lic dialect." Sarmicnto met this fling by 
declaring that "the Argentines had written more verses 
than the tears they had shed over the sad fate of their 
country." Moreover, "the influence of grammarians, 
respect for models, and fear of breaking rules" brought _ 
about a lack of spontaneity of ideas. 

Ihe young Chileans rallied to the defense of Bell o's 
methods by founding a periodical, El Semanario Literarioy 

in which to print their polemics and their literary produc- 

tions^ The most im porta nt contributors were Salvador 
Sanfuentes, Bello's sons Francisco and Carlos, and J. J. 

Vallejo . Ihe topic of discussion w as nominally r o man- 
ticism. Ihe Argentine V. F. Lopez published a long 
article about it and Andres Bello reviewed the romances 
of the Duque de Rivas. He also printed translations of 
two poems by Victor Hugo, entitled in Spanish A Olimpio 
and Las Fantasmas; the latter is the well-known poem 
beginning, " Hclas! que j'en ai vu mourir de jeunes filles!" 
To Lopez' article Sanfuentes replied that romanticism 
was not well understood in Chile; besides it was going 
out of fashion in Europe. In its place he urged "faithful 
pictures of life." In illustration he began the publication 
of his long poem, El Campanario. 

\yi the th eater, a translat ion of H LiiiQ'-S,^^i?<Vo wag priK 
duced as an example of th e romantic drama. Other 


translations followed. Then Carlos Belle (i8n;-t;4 ), 
vyrote a piece in two acts, Los Aviores del Poeta which 
was welcomed with great applause. A month later Rafael 
Minvielle (180 0-87), Put on the boards Ernesto, which 
was praised by Sarmiento as superior to the formef. 
Minvielle also translated Hernani and Dumas' Antony. 
Juan Bello (1825-60), likewise made translations of ro- 

^-fnantic dramas and attem pted to rival Sanfuentes in a" 
poetic legend, Elen a y Eduardo. 

Satirical treatment of t he controversy wa s undertake n 
by Jose Joaquin Vallejo (180 9-58), who poked fun a t 
romanticism by saying that "it was the cheapest thing 

that had come to Chile from Europe by way of the Rio 

de la Plata." And as original productions under the now 
famous pen name of "Jotabeche," he wrote sketches of 
manners and cus toms in the mining camps of Chile. These 
vivid pictures of the landscape and tTie minefs, their 
dances and fights, the vivacious record of their conversa- 
tions and the satirical account of their superstitions form 
one of the classics of Chilean literature. 

I n his story of the literary controversy J. V. Lastarria , 
in his Recuerdos Literarios, is inclined to deny Andres 

Bello's leadership, and attributes its origin and bitte rness 
to the efforts of the youn g men to outshine the Argentines 
V in the drawing rooms of Santiago by t he declamation^ 
< Qriginal compositions in ve rse, ^nd to the poetical Qpn- 
test of 1842, promoted by the society of which he was 
' president. La Sociedad Liter aria. 

/ Whatever its or igin the best frui t of the .contiaxers^_^ 
was the establi shment of the University of Chile, /5f which 
■ Andres Bello was installed as rector. September 17th. 1843.^ 


CHILE 201 

And a month later he brought to a climax his part in the 
controversy by publishing La Oraciun por Todos. This 
ptKm is not a translation but an adapta tion of Victor 
^ Hugo's La Pri crr pour tous; "strong ly Castil ian" ac- 
o>rding to Menon dcz y Pelayo, " in which Bcllo seizes 
the original thought and develops it in our language 
in conformity with our lyrical habits; and he accom- 
plishes this in such fashion that La Oracion por Todos 
i s_ known by. everybody in America a nd _£on s idered by 
mjiny as B cllo's best poem. There is no Spaniard 
who reads those melancholy and sobbing strophes and 
again looks at the French text without finding it very 

To the setting of the poem, the landscape bathed in 
evening twilight, Bello added certain features essentially 
Spanish, the old tower, the isolated farmhouse and the 
church. On the moral side he urges a prayer for Spanish 
types of sinners. And while the French poem is not 
specific in its invocation for the dead, Bello pleads for 
"My Lola." Death being an ever present preoccupation 
of the Spa nish mind, Bello widens the scope of the argu- 
ment for kind thoughts toward the dead in this wise: 
"I too at no distant day shall be a guest of the dark house 
and shall invoke the prayer of a pure soul." 

After Bello's installation as rector of the University of 

Chile his poetical pro duction was slight, a few transla- 
tions, fables and verses for ladies' albums. He was oc- 
cupied with his professional labors and the preparation 
of his scientific works which served as text-books. The 
names of a few suffice to show the wide variety of his 
learning: Teoria del Entendimiento, 1843; Proyecto del 



Codigo civil, 1843; Principios de Derecho internacional, 
1844; Gramdtica de la Lengua castellana, 1847. 

As secretary of the University of Chile, was chosen 
Salvador iSantu entes (1817-60), in some ways BelIo*S — . 
giost distin guished pupil._ At the age of sixteen he wrote*^ 
an imitation in verse of Racine's Iphigenie, which Bello 
printed in the Araucano. In 1836 he became secretary 
to the Chilean legation in Peru, in 1843 general secretary 
to the University. From 1847 to 1851 he was a member 
of President Bulnes' cabinet, first as minister of justice 
and later of state. As a member of the House of Deputies 
he was considered brilliant, while he was also acknowledged 
to be an able practitioner of law. In 1853 he resigned his 
position as secretary of the University, but became its 
dean in 1856. Appointed a judge of the Supreme Court, *^ 
1858, he held this position until his death. 

Throughout his political career, his in terest in po etry 
never faile d. His enemies could find nothing worse than 
to call him the author of El Campanario, which he wrote 
at the age of twenty-four, in order to demonstrate so 
valiantly to the carping Argentines that poets did exist 
in Chile. His purpose, moreover, was to prove th e su- 
p eriority of real pictures of li fe oyer the fancies of rn rnan- 
ticism. The poem is written in three cantos. The scene 
is laid in Santiago about the middle of the eighteenth 
century. A marquis proud of his nobility has two chil- 
dren, Cosme and Leonor. To this family is introduced 
by the president of Santiago, Don Antonio de Gonzaga, 
a young Captain Eulogio to whom he owes his life. But 
the latter, being of plebeian birth, is not favored by the 
parents of Leonor. As long as the president lives, Eulogio's 

CHII.F 203 

suit for the young lady's hand prospers; Inir wlun Don 
Antonio siiddinly dies. Captain Euloj^io is tiinu-d away 
from the marquis' house. 1 he young man, however, 
persuades Lconor to elope with him during the favorable 
opportunity presented by Holy Week. 1 heir marriage 
is in progress in the chapel of a neighboring town when 
her father and his slaves appear and interrupt the cere- 
mony. Eulogio, unwilling to injure the father, does not 
defend himself from arrest. Loaded with chains he is 
tried for abduction and banished. That night, however, 
he escapes from prison. A few days later, a letter con- 
taining four letters traced in blood, of which only Leonor 
understands the meaning, is brought to her together with 
a portrait. She retires to a convent. One moonlight 
night the nuns are awakened by an unseasonable ringing 
of the bells. Ascending the belfr>' they find there hanged 
the hapless Leonor. The poem contains descriptions of 
ancient customs, especially of the royal court of justice, 
the celebrations of Holy Week, the nunnery and the tak- 
ing of the vows by the novice. The episodes possess a 
real interest and the whole poem, written in a variety of 
meters, has a fresh and animated style. 

In 1850 Sanfuentcs published as a collection in one 
volume, two other legends and his romantic drama, Juana 
d( NapoUs. The legend entitled El Bandido, opens with 
a scene on a mountain where a negro bandit, Fernando, a 
man who had sworn to avenge the wrongs of his race, is 
feasting with his followers. \\ ith him is Maria who had 
yielded to Fernando to save her father's life after she had 
been carried off from her village just as her wedding to 
Anselmo was being celebrated. As the feast progresses, 


the bandits perceive clouds of smoke arising from the 
forest, which warns them of the approach of a band of pur- 
suers led by Anselmo. When they come up, the latter fights 
with Fernando, but is severely wounded and defeated. 
Maria, however, persuades Fernando that Anselmo is 
her brother and so is allowed to nurse him back to health. 
She confesses to him her disgrace, whereat Anselmo 
scorns her. That night coming to him, with the statement 
that she has taken poison, she falls dying at his feet. 
Anselmo calls Fernando and they fight. Anselmo, how- 
ever, is again beaten and falls beside Maria's corpse whose 
hand he clasps in his last moments. Fernando, kicking 
their hands apart, leaves them, breaks camp and sur- 
renders to the authorities, who execute him. 

Superior to this poem is Inami 6 la Laguna de Ranco. 
Alberto has fled from the Chilean city of Valdivia because 
he has killed a superior in a duel. He escapes his pursuers 
by taking refuge on an island in the lake of Ranco. Falling 
in love with Inami, the beautiful daughter of the Indian 
cacique Colpi, he marries her and a son is born to them. 
One night Alberto saves from the waters of the lake an 
old man, Alejo, who proves to be his father, come in search 
of him. Alejo is angry when he learns that Alberto has 
married Inami and demands that he leave her and return 
to Valdivia. The young man refuses, but in his distress at 
being obliged to choose between his wife and his father, 
exhibits some coolness to the former. Their suspicions 
aroused, the Indians kill Alejo. Beside his corpse, Alberto 
finds a dagger which he recognizes to be Colpi's. The 
Indian when confronted admits his guilt; in the ensuing 
fight Alberto kills his father-in-law on the top of a cliff 


whence he throws the body into the lake. Alberto ob- 
tains a canoe in preparation for removing his father's 
body. As he is about to start, Inami, with her child, 
appears at the top of the cliff. Beckoning to her husband, 
she plunges into the water to swim toward the canoe. 
About to reach it, she strikes against Colpi's body. Then 
with a cr>' ot horror, she places her child in the canoe, 
turns back to embrace her father's corpse and sinks with 
it to her own death. 

Sanfuentes admitted his indebtedness to that old epic --_i__ 
of Chilean history, Ercill a's JraucatiJa. He succeeded 
fairly well in making his Indians natural and in exhibiting 
their sentiments of hospitality toward strangers. Es- 
pecially interesting, however, is his description of the city 
of V'aldivia. 

His drama, Juana de Napoles, derived its story from 
Sismondi. Roberto, king of Naples, had usurped the 
throne from his nephew, Carlos Huberto, king of Hungary. 
Roberto determines to bring about a reversion of the 
throne by arranging a marriage between Andres, the 
second son of Carlos, and his own daughter Juana, at the 
time seven and five years old respectively. Their parents 
dying when he is eighteen and she sixteen, the young 
couple are left to adjust their differences and difficulties 
according to their own notions. Juana, holding that a 
papal bull had legitimized the usurpation, wishes to in- 
herit ht-r father's dominions while Andres asserts a supe- 
rior right. The dramatist complicated their quarrels by 
introducing a love affair between Juana and a certain 
Luis de Tarento and thus made more tragic Andres* 
death at the hands of conspirators. 


The poetic rendering of a legend again occupied San- 
fuentes' attention in 1 8 53. He found the material in 
Olivares' Historia Militar. Huentemagu, an Araucanian 
Indian, received as his share of the sack of a nunnery a 
beautiful nun. With her he fell so much in love that she 
was able to persuade him not only to respect her but also 
to restore her to her fellow countrymen; whereupon he 
followed her and became a servant at the nunnery in 
order to be near the object of his adoration. 

Four years later from the same pen came Ricardo y 
Lucia 6 la Destruccibn de la Imperial, comprising 17,626 
hendecasyllabic verses in octaves. This is a tale of love 
between a Spaniard and an Indian maid, thwarted by 
the jealousy of a disappointed lover who assists a con- 
spiracy to raid the city of La Imperial. The actors all 
perish in the tumult of its destruction. Somewhat diflFer- 
ent in character is Sanfuentes' last work of which he pub- 
lished four parts before his death. Teudo 6 Memorias de 
un solitario purports to be the diary in verse of the impres- 
sions of a solitary monk. 

Tne poetic me rit of Sanfuentes' compositions varies 
greatly. The later ones become monotonous from ex- 
cessive description. Though he 1 ac ks at times dramat ic 
force and psychological truth, he never fails in a feeling 
for nature. He has written more verses than any other 
Chilean and th ough the first to sing the beauties of prinib^ 
tive nature in Chile, no other poet in this respe ct nis~" 
equalled Sanfuen tes. 

The poetic activity in Chile about 1842 was n ot entirely 
devoid of the c l assical note which sought per fecti on or 
form. Even in El Semanario were published poems of 

CHILE 207 

that typt" l\v Htrniogencs de Irlsarri, a (7uarcmnUn, 
whose father, Antonit) Josr ilc Irisairi, a vny wtalthy 
man, had played an important part in Spanish-American 
affairs during the revolutionary period. Another poet of 
classical leanings was Jacinto Chacon, who continued to 
an advanced age to occupy high positions in Chilean 
politics. As a leader the classical school may have looked 
to Felipe Pardo who came to Chile as Peruvian envoy in 
1836. A pupil of the celebrated Sevillan Alberto Lista 
and an enthusiastic man of letters, he wrote much and 
even published a periodical, El Interprcte, during his 
sojourn in Chile. 

In some respects the most successful writer of occa- 
sional verse of classi cal type during this ep ociT was Dona 
Mercedes Marin de Solar (1804-66). Being a bright 
child she was given an excellent education, contrary to 
the prevailing notions about female education. ,She even 

knew French, which is remarkable for it is on record that 

in 1 82 1 a priest refused to absolve a young woman be- 
cause she was studying that language. Dona Mercedes 
came into public notice by her Canto a la Muerte de don 
Diego PortaleSy printed by Bello in the Jraucano, July, 
1837. This composition of three hundred and twenty- 
four lines was the work of a single night, and reflects as a 
historical document in verse the social conditions of the 
time. Her numerous pieces concern mainly events in 
family lite bearing such titles as. To my daughter Luisa 
on the death of her husband; To my daughter Elena on 
her departure for North America; To my daughter Caro- 
line on going to live in the country. Recollecting in her 
dying ho urs that she had written no verses for her youngest 

daughter Matilda, she composed a sonnet remarkable 

under the circumstances for containing no hint of death 

^r separation and speak ing only of the joy with which 
j:he daughter had blessed her mothe r. 

Owing to the character of the race poetry has been 

more of a forced product in Chile than in some other 

Spanish-American countries, though versifiers have been " 
numerous. T he upper class of this race is composedoT*^ 
Spaniards largely of Basque origin, somber and practical, 
with an element of Anglo-Saxon merchants and sailors. 
The lower class differs from that of other South-American 
republics because their aboriginal ancestors, the Arau- 
canians, were not submissive but warlike and difficult 
to conquer. Furthermore there are no Africans nor 
Asiatics. The geography of the land also contributes '^ 
to homogeneity of race. A narrow strip of coast walled on 
the east by a range of lofty and almost inaccessible moun- 
tains, the sea affords easy communication between its 
parts. Shipping, mining, and agriculture in the numerous 
valleys in a climate favorable to labor by white men thus 
become its natural industries. 

The same conditions explain the type of government 
p rojected by Diego Portales and adopt ed in th e constim - "~ 
tion of 1833. This gave the balance of power to an oli- 

garchy of the landholders represented by senators whose 
term of office was nine years and a president elected for 
ten years. In the struggle which preceded the victory of 
the patrician conservatives, they were called "pelucones" 
by the liberals who in turn were dubbed "pipiolos.'* 
The strong rule of the "pelucones" preserved Chile from 
the anarchy which held back the progress of the other 

CHILE 209 

republics. But tin- descendants of rlic "piju'olos" kept 
alive and devcK)pcd a liberalism, as the years |>assfd, whicb 
found an expression not only in literature but also in 
armed uprisings. 

The constitution of Portales made the church an in- 
stitution of state because the church stood for order 

and the defense of pr operty; in return the church sup- 
ported the temporal £ower of the oligarchy. Against 
the union of church and state came the first attack of 

liberalism, Francisco Bilbao's (1823-65 ), Sociabilidad chi- 
Una, a book of grea t literary and social import ance in 
the history- of Chile. It was first printed in the short- 
lived periodical El Crepilsculo, 1844. The journal was 
suppressed and the author was prosecuted by the eccle- 
siastical authorities, who accused him of blasphemy, im- 
morality and sedition because Bilbao attributed the ex- 
tremely wretched condition of the working class in Chile 
to the domination of the clergy. The ecclesiastical tri- 
bunal found Bilbao guilty and sentenced him to pay a 
fine of fifteen hundred pesos or in default of its payment 
to serve six months in prison. His friends promptly 
subscribed the money and sufficient additional funds 
to allow him to leave the country. . In Sociabilidad chilena 
g. Chilean writer, Isidoro Errazuriz, sees the outcome of 
Andres Bello's philosophica l teaching, not in its substance 
but as a "wild plant" that grew in the in tellec tual ground 
prepared by his h and. 

Isiduro Errazuriz, by the way, was a clever journalist 
and a brilliant orator whose pol itical activ'ity extended 
from i860 to 1890. A s a historian he publ ished an im- 
portant sketch of the p olitical parties in Ch ile from 1S21 


to 1870 as an introduction to h is extensive Histona de la 
0dminist rac ibn Errdzuriz. 

Francisco Bilbao went by way of Buenos Aires to Paris 
where he made the acquaintance of Michelet and Edgar 
Quinet. The latter, after reading Bilbao's book con- 
gratulated him. Quinet, the philosopher of democracy, 
was then producing his own works against the influence 
of Catholicism in the modem world. WTien Bilbao re- 

(turned to Chile , he established, on the basis of Quinet's 
ideas, a liberal society with the name o f La SociedacT^^^-^. 

^a Igualdad. To it were attracted many liberal thinkers. 

One of the most promin ent was Eusebio Lillo (1826- 
_ iQio). At the age of eighteen he attracted attention by 
winning a prize for verses on Jose M. Infante, a popular 
hero. Three years later he was honored by the adoption '' 
of a poem of his as the national anthem of Ch ile. The 
older one by D e Vera wa s displaced because its virule nt 
hostility to Spai n see med antiquated. In 1848 he was 
one of the founder s of the Revista de Santiago, a somewhat_ ^ 
notable periodical for it united as collaborators under 
the lead e rship of J. V. Lastarria many impor tant men 
of letters. To this magazine Lillo's first contribution 

was a legend. Loco de Amor, in two cantos. 

Lillo now became interested in politics, supporting the 
ideas of Francisco Bilbao by editing a journal. El Jjnigo 
del Pueblo. And as a rallying song for his party he wrote 
a Himno de la Igualdad. Words led to deeds in the liberal 
insurrection of 1851. Lillo took part m the'fighting^TTr- 
■the streets of Santiago. After this affair he was banished 

a nd took refuge in Peru. 

His experiences in that counti 

CHILE 211 

l ong poem, F ragmentos de los Rfcuerdos de un Proscrito, 
generally considered his best poem on account of its iiiter- 
cstinp description of Lima^ Lillo's verses give evidence 
o( a deli cate feelin g f(u the sof ter moods of nature. He 
was fond of flowers and wrote so much about them that 
he was called the poet of the flowers. In a simple style 
which found imitators he sang the perfume of the mignon- 
ette and the pale and drooping calyx of the flowering 
rush. Even in the Himno Nacional he remembered the 
flowers of Chile and expressed the hope that the invader 
might never trample them down. 

On reaching middle life Lillo applied his poetic imagi- 
nation tTTTRe problem s ot speculative b usiness. I n Bolivia 
he embarked on various enterprises by supplying capital 
to miners. As a. result he returned to his native Chile a 
wealthy man at th e age of fi ft y-two. Once more in poli- 
ti cs he was el ected alc alde of Sa ntiago. Under President 
Balmaceda of liberal tendencies he held various high 
governmental offices. And when the latter committed 
suicide in 1891, Lillo was the expcutor of his will. 

\ poet of a more purely romantic type than Lillo was 

G uillermo Blest "Gana (1829-1904). His poems and 
s onnets say little of nature but treat intimately of hiF 
feelings. The romantic po se of his lines was not justi fi ed 
b y the material circumstance s of his life. Nevertheless 
he made Alfred de Musset his model. Not only did he 
translate the Nuit de mai but imitated it in twenty-three 
compositions which are grouped under the title of Noches 
di Luna in the edition of his Pocsias, 1854. With the 
moon he converses about his love, her beauty and her 
deceitfulness. Being a good reader he became a parlor 



favorite with the ladies, who delighted to hear him read 
his verses. His later poems reflect with fascinating 
delicacy the spirit of Chilean home life. 

In 1857, on account of political troubles he h ad to seek 
asylu m m Europe. Un his return he became a profess or 
/of literature in the University of Chile; then he e ntered 
the diplomatic service of his country. While minister 
to Ecuador he had an opportunity to enact in real life 
something as dramatic as any of his poetic fancies. The 
poetess, Dona Dolores Veintemilla de Galindo, slandered 
unjustly in her wifely honor by a priest, committed 
suicide near her child's cradle. At her funeral, unattended 
by others because it was that of a self-murderer, Guil- 
lermo Blest Gana was the only mourner and he attended in 
full diplomatic dress. 

Beside the poems of pers on al character, Guillerrn o 
' Blest Gana's literary productions include various po etic 
l egends. E l Bandido, Las dos Alujeres, La Flor de la Soledad; 
some tales in prose; and two historical dramas, Lorenzo 
Garcia and La Conjuracibn de Almagro. The magazine, 
La Revista del Pacifico, which he founded offered encourage- 
ment to many of the minor poets of the day. 

The followin g year, 1859, was marked by a revival of 
literary interest in Chile. This c rystalized into the estab^ 

, lishment of a society. El Circulo de los Amigos de las 

t Letras, which inaugurated a poetic contest d estined to 
bring into no tice a number of young men. This society 
and contest was prom oted by Jose .Victorino Lastarria 
(1817-88), the former president of the Sociedad Literaria 
in 1842. For his activities of this kind (he was also a prime 
mover in founding the Academia de Bellas Letras in 1873), 

CHILE 213 

and his many journalistic enterprises, he has been called 
the "father of literary developme nt in Chile." The major 

part of his writings, such as the somewhat visionary Lcc' 
Clones de Politica positiva, were political, but his sketches 
i| and talcs, partly autobiographical of his political career, 
collected in the volume Antaho y Ilogano, form a classic 
of Chilean literature. No less valuable for literary history 
is his Recu/rdos Liurarios. 

The general tone of the verses submitted for the con- 
test of 1S59 was that of romantic melancholy such as G. 
Blest Gana had made popul ar. A protege of his, Martin 
J ose Lira (1S35-67), gave it an original turn by_ draaing 
his inspiration from the contemplatio n of na ture. His 
adaptation from Robert Burns, entitled A una Ave Herida, 
in which the bird reproaches the man for killing it, and 
his translation of Longfellow's Psalm of Life are character- 
istic of Lira's own productions. 

The leading figure in poetic literature during the sixties 
wasTjui llermo Matta (b orn 1829). His first work, Cuentos 
en verso, printed in 1 853, consisted of two long legends, 
Un Cuento endemoniado and La Alujer misteriosa, which 
smack strongly of his models Espronceda and Byron. 
They are love stories with digressions and apostrophes 
on whatever struck his fancy, Greece, Seville, Rome, Byron 
himself. Their open at tack on the conventio nal reli gious 
ideas and preju dices shocked the ChiTean puMrtrtsfTfie^ 
day; but his lightness of touch with a happy combination 
of jest a n d earnest mad e t he poems attractive. 

His literary free-thinking had a logical consequence 
in his adherence to a political insurrection in 1S57, on 
account of which he was obliged to betake himself to 

Europe. In Madrid he made use of the opportunity to 

print his writing s in two volumes. The experiences'oF 
travel strengthened his philosophical ideas and on his 
return to Chile he expounded them with greater convic- 
tion. In an address on literature when installed as pro- 
fessor in the University of Chile, 1864, he touched on the 
marvels of steam railways and the electric telegraph and 
insisted that the new poetry must take into consideration 
such changes in the state of the world. 

The most copious of poets, his practice in this respect 
made Matta the leader of a new school which praised 
the love of science, adoration of justi ce, and respect for 
indust^}^ The improvement shown in his own literary 

styl e gave evidence of his wide study of th_e leading F rench , 
English and German poe ts. In fact the German note is 
his special contribution to Chilean poetry. 

Guillermo Matta's brothers, Francisco and Manuel 
Antonio, were journalistic champions of the same ad- 
vanced ideas . The latter won for himself an immense 
reputation in the Chilean congress. Guillermo supported 
a movement led by certain ladies for the better education 
of women. He even assisted Dona Rosario Orrego de 
Uribe to publish a Revista literaria for the same purpose. 

Guillermo Matta's greatest popularity both at home 
and abroad was achieved in 1866. At that time Spain 
had seized the Chinchon islands off the coast of Peru and 
was at war with that country. At the same time she 
threatened an attack on Chile. Matta sent forth his 
verses calling on all America to rouse herself in common^ 
defense agains t the invader and they met a respon se in 
many lands. / 



One of the most stirring poems evoked by this war was 
w m t e n by Dona Rosario Orrego de Uribe (1834 -79) , 
J la Rfpublica peruana con motivo de la derrota de la Escua- 
dra espanola en Callao. The virile tones of this poem and 

of other patriotic utterances are remarkable. Her verses 
o n mother love, on duty and to persons show the i nfl uence _ 
of Matra. She began writing for G. Blest Gana's Revista 
del Pacifico and in one of her early poems, A mi hijo Luisy 
made certain prophecies of his future character which 
proved true when second in command of the famous Chil- 
ean warship "Esmeralda." It was a strange coincidence 
that she died at about the very hour when he was dis- 
tinguishing himself for valor in battle. 

For correctness of expression and classicism of style 
Dorningo Arteaga Alcmparte (1835-80) held first pla ce _ 
in this decade. His best remembered poems are a pair 

of sonnets, El Llanto and La Risa, in which he maintains 
/ the paradox " 'tjow ofteri to cry^ is to he [lappv!" and an ^^i^ 
r\ ode Los Andes 3?^T?nion^tnelatter tne poet ad- 
mires the/ .Andes mountains as they rear their rugged 
outlines ^ove the smiling valleys; but there is a more 
sublime cordillera, the genius of man. Like the rivers 
from the mountains its influence streams through hu- 

The brothers Domin go and J usto_Arteaf|^ Al£mpajte_ 
were con stantly _asso£iaied in joum-Tlistir pntprp n'sp.s. 
They contributed to the literary activity of 1S59 by estab- 
lishing La Semana. Several years later they brought out 
El Charivari and La Linterna del Diablo, comic and satirical 
periodicals. These opened a new vein in Chilean journal- 
ism, for the serious and sober Chilean character has little 

''A. .^r-^v.^' \? 


liking for Andalusian salt so typical of Peru. Domingo 
Arteaga Alemparte also won fame as an orator. 

In jocose verse, burlesque f ables and satire, Ma nuel^ 
Blanco Cuartin (18 22-90) specially excelled, and his jou r- 
nalistic work during a long period was graced bv hj s 
humor. He wrote also two fantastic legends in verse, 
Blanca de Lerma and Mackandal. 

A_ companion in light satire was Adolfo Valderr ama 
(born 1834). But his writings were not limi ted to verse 
for he wrote amusing prose sketches afterwards collected" 

jn a volume entitled Despues de la Tarea. His serious worE 
was that of a physician and professor of medicine in the 
University. And he p erformed a service to th e history 
of Chilean letters by preparing a Bosquejo de la Poes'ia 
chilena, 1866. 


The martial lyrics of Gj iillermo Matta, to which refer- 
ence has bee n made, initiated a fashion of heroic v erse 
which, assisted by historical events, remained in vogue 
about two decades. In dramatic productions a par allel 
movement occurred. Matta's friend and admi rer, Luis^ 
Rodriguez Velasco (b. 1838), the politician Carlos Walker 
Martinez (1842-1905), leader of the conservativ e party" 
, and diplo mat, the talented Jose Antonio Soffia (184^- 8^)7 
were the first to write in the heroic style. T hen the war 
which Chile fought with Peru for the possession of the 
nitrate fields gave fresh impetus to the heroic, and brought 
into the field Victor Torres Arce (1847-83), Am brosio 
Montt (born i860), and Carlos Lathrop (bom 1853) . ~" 

^n the theater Jose Antonio Torres Arce (182^ ^4) 
produced in 1856 La Independencia de Chile, one or the 
best Chilean historical plays. Since the action concerned" 

CHILE 217 

mainly the exploits of Manuel Rodrtguez, a popular hero 
of the revoiutit)n, the lines were filled with tirades of 
exalted patriotism. The author wrote oth er plays and 
was a successful journalist. 

T he revolutio nan,^ hero, Manuel Rodriguez, was again 
staged in iS6v shortly after a statue of him had been 
er ected in Santiago. T he author's, Carlos Walker Mar- 
tinez', patriotic tirades were enthusiastically received 
and especially the finale of his drama Manuel Rodriguez, 
which consisted of an apostrophe to the national flag. 
During the next six years, Walker Martinez wrote a series 
of Romances americanos based on colonial and revolu- 
tionary histor>'. Thgugh composed in rather a prosaic 
style they have been popular enough to ca ll for a second 

On the other hand, Luis Rodriguez Velasco used for 
th? material' of his ballads the history of the day and 
followed closely the events of the Spanish-Peruvian war. 
Written at his post of observation in Peru the poems 
gave evidence of keenness of impression. His experiences 
also supplied him material for a legend in verse in six 
cantos, Amor en el Hospital. In 1869 he wrote a comedy 
of manners, Por Amor y por Dinero, which his contem- 
poraries hailed as the best produced by a Chilean author. 
Ten years later when the war between Chile and Peru 
brought the victor)' of the Chilean warship Esmeralda 
over the Peruvian ironclad Huascar, Rodriguez Velasco 
again greeted his countr>men with a paean of victory. 

The dailv occurrences of this war were celebrated in 

verse by Victor Tor res Arce , He was known to Chileans 
for his sensual bohemian lyrics, some plays and, a novel. 


Los Amqres de un Pije, which scandahze d the p ub lic o f 
1872 by its narration of erotic adventures. 

But Juan Rafael Allende (185 0-1905), wrote with greater 
talen t the same sort of verse chronicle of the war in his" 
Poesias d e " El Pequen" filled with patriotism, amus ing 
for thejr w itty sayings, and entertaining by reason of ^ 
their pictures of camp life. By order of the secretary oP" 
war thousands of copies were distributed to the soldiers. 
At the same time Allende produced his patriotic plays 
Jose Romero and La Generala Buendia. The latter's ex- 
ploits were being narrated in fiction by the novelist Ramon 
Pacheco. Allende, during the decade of the eighties, was 
a fertile writer for the popular stage, depicting many na- 

tive types. Among hi s dramatic sketches were many 
bitter sa tires of the wea lth y classes. 

T he most gifted Chilean writer during the spvp ntip.*^ ^ 
whose real poetic feeling and delic acy of expression plac e 
him m the front rank of Spanish-American poets, wa s 
Jose Antonio Sofiia. Though his Verses attracted atten- 
tion when he was but twenty years bf age, his best work 
was produced after his appointment as ambassador to 
Colombia in 1874. T he cultivated society of Bog ota 
was very stimulating to his talents. There were written 
his poetical romance, Bolivar y San Martin, generally 
considered his best poem, and the twelve cantos of the 
epic Michimalonco, awarded a gold medal at a literary 
contest held by the University of Chile, 1877. 

This poem, based on Ercilla and the early historians of 
Chile, related in a variety of meters the story of Michi- 
malonco, the first Araucanian cacique to rebel against 
Pedro de Valdivia. The trouble began when three Indian 

CHILE 219 

women murdered a Spani;trd, Roqiic Sanchez. His he- 
loved, Ines de Suarez, led her countrymen to avenge his 
death. But the pleasing parts of the poem are the idylhc 
pictures of primitive hlV, the love of the Indian maid 
Cuajilda for Michimalonco, her phiintive "yaravi" or 
love song, their marriage by Christian rites. 

Soffia's journey to Bogota by wa y of the river Mag- 
dalena supp lied him with the therrie^nd^ the setting for a 
p athetic tale in verse, Las dos Her manas, about t he 
daughters of a fisherman who was drowned in a vain at- 
tempt to save another ma n's life. In this as in all Soffia's 
poems, the description of nature is unexcelled. In Acon- 
cagua he sympathetically pictured the beauties of his 
native province. In Las dos Urnas he rendered a tradi- 
tion about the river Aconcagua and the city San Felipe. 
Thoug h love of nature inspired s o many of his limis-^ioye- . 
for his wife and l ove of country, were also sprin gs of his 
muse. H is patriotic apost rophes to national heroes de- 
lighted h is fellow Chileans ^ 

The eloquence of patriotism was a more specialized 

fo rm of the grandiloquent vd:rses on abstrac t themes 
which were in fashion about 1880. A mbrosio Montt y 
Montt, for example, who first wrote odes and sonnets to 
commemorate the naval victory at Iquique, and the valor 
of the Chilean commander Arturo Prat, easily shifted to 
compositions in praise of art and the mission of the poet. 

This fashion was an echo of the poetic activity in 
Buenos Aires in the late seventies. The later roman- 
ticists, following perhaps the examp le of Victor Hugo, 

had a theory that poetry should serve hu manity by in^ 

spiring it with lofty idea ls. This school found its noblest 


exponent in the grandiloquence of the Argentine poet 
Andrade. In all Spanish America poets be p ;an inditing ^ 
odes to Humanit y, to Science, to Re ason. 

In Chile, the first prize for the poetic contest of 1877 
was awarded Pablo Garr lga (b. 1853) for an^ ode ./JT ^ 
Progreso, and a gain in 187 8 for El Poeta. He was fre- 
quently applauded for his contributions to periodicals, 
for poems on such abstract topics and especially for an 
ode, A la Cieneia. 

Pedro Nolasco P rendez (b. 1853) openly acknowledged 
Jiis debt to Andrade. But he gave a note of originality to 
hi s verses by the form In which they were conceive37"^ 
calling them Silhuetas when he praised the heroes of dutyT*^ 
As Prendez was quite successful in catching Andrade's^ 
lofty tone and wrote mainly after the latter's death, his "■ 
admirers pretended to see In him a reincarnation of the 
Argentine bard. 

Reactionary against the new philosophies, and a cham- 
pio D of the old religi ous ideals, arose Francis co A. Con cha 
Castillo (b. i8';.0- The virtues of the soul, of self-sacrifice, 
of faith, the discipline of pain, as celebrated In his Dolor 
Generator, were the sources of inspiration for his graceful 
and fluid verses. A fantasy, Apoteosis, written in 1878 
on the anniversary of the death of Cervantes, attracted 
wide notice outside of Chile. 

Metaphysical poetry gradually disappeared before the 

style of^writing br ought Into vogue by the Spanish poe t 
jecquer. In 1887 a wealthy Chilean, Federico Varela, 
announced a literary contest to cover a wide variety of 
topics, in both prose and verse. One prize was offered 
for the "best collection of poems of the suggestive or In- 


sinuating kind of which the Spanish poet Gustavo Bccqucr 
is the prototype." 1 he jury finally divided the prize be- 
tween two collections which proved to have been written 
by Ed uardo de l a Barra (1S39-1900X 

He was a veteran writer, for at the age of twenty he 
had won first prize in the famous literary contest of the 
Circulo de los Amigos de las Letras, in 1859, by an ode 
A la Indfpendencia de America. Though he contributed 
verses to periodicals for a while thereafter, he stopped 
suddenly in order to devote his time to politics, and 
political writing such as that contained in his investiga- 
tion entitled Francisco Bilbao ante la Sacristia. 

The V'arela poetic contest again drew his attention to 

the wntmg of verses, in whicTThe prov ed himself superior 
not only in the Becquerist rima but al so in the fable and 
in a discussion of the theory of Spanish prosody . In 1889 
he published his poems in two volumes, to which he gave 
the descriptive names Poesia Subjectiva and Pocsia Ob- 
jectiva. Beside the prize-winning verses they contained 
poems of passion, micro-poemas, and parodies of an early 
collection of poems b}' Ruben Dario, Las Rosas andinas. 
The micr o-poema was so n amed by De la Barra from the 
fact that it told a tragic tale briefly, even in so few lines 
as a couplet. In the parodies o^R^uj|n Dario to which 
De la Barra gave the title RubC-n Rubi^ he showed him- 
self a master o f the jocose verse so rare in sober Chile. 

By this wide diversity of form, De la Barra has proved 
himself the most clever artificer of verse produced by 

The B ecquerist rima was practiced by others than 
De la Barra, for example, his disciple Leonardq_Elg__ 



(b. i86i), whom he made the legatee of his manuscripts. 

In 1887 Eliz published an interesting book useful to the 
student of literature, Silhuetas liricas y biogrdficas. In 
this he appreciated in sonnets many Chilean poets and 
added in prose a biographical n ote about each one. 

Of the same age wa s Narciso Tondreau (bom 1861), 
whose Penumbras was published in 1887, through the gen- 
erosity of friends enthusiastic at the true feeling for nature 
displayed in his melodious though melancholy verses. TKe^ 
contents of the volume were well characterized in a prefa- 
tory poem by Rodriguez Velasco who urged the reader to 
enter these "shadows" without fear if he possessed a love 
of flowers, of leafy trees and the air of the woods. 
—-V^ The literary revolution known as t he modemista move - 

ment and datin g from the publicati on in Buenos Aires i n 
1888 of Ruben Dario's Azul soon found recruits among the 

\ young Chileans. Pe dro Antonio Gonzalez' volume Ritmos 
and Gustavo Valledor Sanchez' Versos sencillos initiated 
the public into the new style. Francisco Contreras printed 
in blue ink his Esmaltines, dedicated to the Princess 
Zafirina and won notoriety by Raul, a long narrative poem-' 
in verses of twelve syllables, showing the inftlience of 
Baudelaire and the exaggerations of the symb olist sch ool. 
Contreras later went to Paris and continuing to write was 
thus the only one of the early group to remain to the 
present day a producer of literature. Antonio Borquez 
Solar's Campo Virico offered flowers of poesy gathered 
"apart from the beaten path"; his companions esteemed 
most highly a joyous bacchanal song Jerez alegre and re- 
printed it in their journal Pluma i Ldpiz. 

When the Peruvian Jose Santos Chocano gave a ne\r 

CHILE 223 

direction to the modcrnista movement hy his American 
pon ns he opened a p ath more congenial to the Chilean 
miiui and conlorniing to the traditi on of Chilean poetry. 
Con sequently C hocano called Diego Dubic Urrutia "the 
poet of Chile " when he read the latter^ volume l)fl Mar a 
la Montana, containing ver ses descriptive of the forests 
a nd mines, and the nat ive types of men and^wometi^and 
their customs. In the same spirit Manuel Magallanei. 

Moilrt in Maticcs painted the splendor of the Chilean 
landscape. Samuel \. Lillo not only sang the beauties of 
nature in his Canciones de Arauco but also the wild life 
of the mountains, the Indians, the hunting of the p uma 
a nd^ other animals; and in ChiU herbico he evoked the 
historic past from the days of Mic himalonco to the figh t 
o f the Esmeralda." 

The illustrated weekly Pluma i Ldpiz, founded in De- 
cember, 1900, is an in teresting document for the study of 
t he modcrnist a d evelopment in Chile. The young men just 
mentioned who filled its pages with thei r pro se and verse 
were determinedly enthusiastic in their love of art. To 
aid and abet them in their devotion they secured con- 
tributions from renow ned modemista s of other countries 
such as K.ubcn Dario, G u illermo Valencia, and Fabio 

Other contributors and younger men were Miguel Luis 
Rocuant whose Brumas showed the influence of the 
Mexican Gutierrez Najera and a pantheistic turn of mind; 
the cvt-n more philosophical Federico Gonzalez wTio sang 
the s truggle of the soul for the infinite. Victor Domingo 
Silva having lived amonc thr poor in Buenos Aires wrote 
in a p essimistic strain about the outcasts of society in his 


volume of verses, Hacia alia . ,But in a long poe m, El 
Derrotero, h e imitated C hocan o. This poem narrates the 
efforts of a young man to get rich quickly in order to marry 
a wealthy girl. He attempts to find a mine of which an old 
Indian had told him the location, but he is lost on the 
pampa and dies miserably. 

A review of verse writing in Chile shows that from the 
time of Andres Bello and the introduction of romant icism "^ 
it has closely followed the c urrent s of European literatu re ^ 
without producing more than a very few poets of first ran^^^ 
among its numerous versifie rs. Poetry may safely~~Be"--». 
called a cultivated plan t. On the other the genius of the 
Chilean character reveals itself spo ntaneously in prose ^ 
( forms of literature, esp ecially historical writing and the "*" 
kindred nove l. 

The first nove l published by a Chilean was El Inquisidor 
Mayor o Historia de unos Amorei, hrniight nut by M^^ nneP* 
Bilbao in Lima, 1852. It depiVf; <ir\r\pty in 1-haf rify 
^during the eighte enth century. Perhaps the author had 
in mind his brother Francisco's recent persecution when 
he described the evil fortunes of a young Frenchman 
brought before the tribunal of the inquisition and con- 
demned for his opinions. The novel portrays the wealthy 
and pleasure-loving descendants of the conquistadores 
disturbed by the first stirrings of the ideas which were to 
have their outcome in the revolution. The impression 
produced on the public was so great that the book passed 
through several editions. This fortune did not fall to 
the author's later stories Las dos Hermanas and El Pirata 
del Guaymas. 

Alberto Blest Gana (b om 183 1), the next novelist in 

CHILE 225 

point of ti me, is the greatest of Chilean writers of fiction 
" and in t he opinion of Chilians the prcatest of American 
novelist s. \\ v aspired to be the A merican Halzac. In a 
letter to Vicuna Mackenna, he wrote: "One day reading 
Balzac I made an auto de fe in my fireplace condemning 
to the flames my youthful rhymes. (He had published a 
tVw narrative poems.) I swore to be a novelist or abandon 
the field of literature. The secret of my persistence is that 
1 write not from a desire for glory but from a necessity 
of soul." 

His first stories published in 1858 w ere Enganos y 
DesenganoSy El Primer Amor, La Fascinacibn and Juan 
df Aria which immediately attracted atten tion Jor the 
q uality of keen ob servation which the author displayed. 
Moreover, they aroused such general interest that the 
University of Chile proposed in i860 for its annual literary 
contest, usually limited to seriou* historical or critical 
topics, "a novel in prose, historical or of manners, the 
theme of which should be purely Chilean." The prize was 
awarded to Rkst Gana's La Aritrnetica en el Amor. Tjjfi 
title is descriptive of the morals of its chief character whcr~ 
uses any means to attain wealth and power. H is sclhsh 
conduct is contrasted with the self-sacrifice of his be- 
trothed whom he abandons. Blest Gana's next novel, El 
Pago de las Deiidas, entered still more deeply into criticism 
of contemporar>' society. And in Martin Rivas, published 
1862, he produced his masterpiece. 

The action of this novel takes place in Santiago about 
the year 1S50. Manin Rivas is a young man from the 
country- who is taken into the family of a very rich man, 
Damaso Encina, who acquired from Martin's father the 


mine which is the source of Encina's wealth. The novel 
is a satire on the manners of newly rich people and the 
vices of a lower class who ape the rich. In the Encina 
family are two children, a son Augustine, and a daughter 
Leonor. The son has just returned from Paris, wherefore 
he interlards his conversation with French words and 
fashions his conduct after a model learned in France. He 
has a love affair with Adelaide, a daughter of the lower 
classes. Her vicious and lazy brother, Amador, forces 
Augustine to marry her by coming with a priest and sur- 
prising him at night in her company. Martin saves 
Augustine from this disgrace by proving that the man who 
performed the marriage ceremony was not a priest but a 
disguised friend of Amador. Martin becoming interested 
in politics takes part in the uprising of 1851. He is arrested 
and condemned but escapes death because Adelaide's 
noble-minded sister, Edelmira, consents to marry a police 
official in order to save Martin's life. Martin and Leonor 
had been interested in each other from the first moment 
of their acquaintance but her pride had forbidden her from 
accepting his attentions. At last before Martin's clever- 
ness and ability her pride yields and they marry. 

The scenes a nd incidents of Martin Rivas, in spite of its 
many pages, are so many and so varied that the story 
moves rapidly. The types of c haracter, according to tKS"^ 
Chilean critics, are true to life: the rich, parvenue wR6~^ 
feeds her lapdog at table; the matron of lower tilass who 
is ambitious to marry her daughter to the scion of wealth; 
the worthless and dissipated Amador, a "siutico," as the 
Chileans name the type; the politicians, "real beings," says 
Barros Arana, "whom we all know." 

CHILE 227 

A dif ferent typ e formed the subject of El Ideal de un 
Calav^ra, pub lished j£6i:i._,'\hclardo Manriqucz is a mod- 
em son of a Spanish conquistador, a seeker after adventure 
either in love or war, haiulsonie, brave, quarrelsome, 
ardent. His fate finally leads liiiii into a conspiracy 
which ends in his execution by a shooting party. Just 
before the fatal discharge, he voices his ideal with the 
words: — "Adios, love! only ambition of my soul!" 

With this novel closed the firs t_period^qf^lest Gan a's 
activity. He wa s sent abroad in the d iplomatic service 
of his country and lived almost continuously in Europe. 
After thirty years he again essayed the writing of novels. 

^n 1897 he pu blished a histor ical novel, Durante la Re- 
conquista. The title refers to the two years following the 
disaster of Rancagua, 1814, when the Spanish army had 
temporarily suppressed the revolution and the forces of 
San Martin were drilling beyond the Andes for the ul- 
timate victory'. The author portrays the many leaders in 
jhe guerilla warfare which fill ed these years and de- 
scribes the customs a nd social diversions of the epoch. 

I n 1905 Blest Gan a made a stu dy of a South American 
family as a type of those who end eavor to use wealth as a 
means for break ing int o aristocratic Euro pean society. 
Los Tr as pi ant ados is a severe satire of ever\' member of 
the family Canalejas and their associates from their rage 
for spending money to their peculiar jargon, half French, 
half Spanish; from the married daughters' disgust at the 
grandmother, who clings to her mantilla at church to the 
exclusion from their society of other Americans except 
a rich bachelor uncle, whose worn and unfashionable 
clothes they tolerate, because they hope to inherit his 


property. The youngest child Mercedes is compelled 
to marry a Prince Roespinbruck, but she commits suicide 
on learning that her husband has taken along his mistress 
on the wedding journey. Even this tragedy fails to move 
the family from their frivolity. 

In 1910 the octogenarian novelist put the scenes of 
his n ovel of that year, El Loco Estero, again in Chile. As^ 
in his first work his latest displays the same keenness^ T 
observation and vigor of characterizatio n. 

The novel s of Blest Gana's early period aroused a de- 
^ sire in Chilej for novel reading. The efforts of th e^eri- ~^ 
odicals to satisfy it so stimulated original composition 
that mention can be made here only of the most important 
productions. Imitation of Blest Gana resulted in wRaf"- 

nj^y be termed his school; but his imita tors, led on by the 
necessity of filling space in the daily paper, often spun"^ 
""t p\ ag gerated and improbable adventures. 1 he custom 

o f selling novels in part s resulted in si milar prolix ity. 
Whi le the study of contemporary life was frequentl^ ^ 
animated by a doctrinaire purpose, the search for sen - 
sation turned to notorious crimes or the horrors of the 

past. The model of the l atter seemed to be the Spaniard 
Femandfi^ y Hnri^alez. 

The most readable novelist among Blest Gana's im- 

mediate following was Martin Palma (1821-84)^ Atrip 
to California at the time of the gold fever of 1849 gave 
him a wider outlook on life. After his return to Chile 
he edited a paper and wrote many tracts on social ques- 
tions, which gave him a repu tation as a free thinke r. 
In 1869 he published his first novel, Los Secretes del Pueblo. 
The success which greeted it, helped on by the 4iostility 

cHii.fc: 229 

of 3. few, induced the aiitlidi to extend the length of the 
novel to fifty parts, aJtinvanls piiMishid as a whok- in 
four volumes. The introduction trinkly states: — "VV'c 
have had in mind the improvement of the people. Our 
customs are examined attempting to improve them, our 
vices to correct them, our virtues to enhance them, at 
the same time tilting full against our prejudices, against 
our social and political errors, against our bad habits 
for the sake of exalting the dignity and independence of 

In spite of the doctrinairism there is little declamation, 
for the lesson is inculcated by striking pictures of vice 
and its evils. The plan of the novel resembles that of 
Martin Rivas. The adventures of two wealthy families 
are contrasted with those of an honest artisan. The 
wealthy hesitate at no crimes either to increase their 
riches or to procure their pleasure, while the poor perform 
the most extraordinary deeds of virtue or courage. The 
wealthy young libertine Guillermo pursues the sister of 
the carpenter Enrique Lopez to her ruin; in revenge her 
father and Enrique get bodily possession of Guillermo 
and brand him with a red hot iron <jn the shoulder. The 
rich Luisa falls in love with the sterling qualities of En- 
rique, but her family force her to marry Guillermo because 
he threatens to divulge his knowledge of the skeleton in 
the family closet. Guillermo finally dies in a drunken 
orgy when the vapor of the alcohol rising from the spilled 
brandy explodes, setting fire to the house. Luisa is thus 
free to marry Enrique. 

Palma later broug ht out a sequel to this story in La 
Felicidad dd Matrimonio, l^j'^ l^i nnri-rhrir*' f"'^- 


encies were given full play in Los Mis Urins del Confesion-_ 
ario, 1874, of which an English translation was printed 
in London in three volumes under the title of Julia In- 
grand — A Tale of the Confessional. These two themes of 
Palm a indicate the direction taken by a small army oT" 
novelists engendered by the success of historic. ^~~ 

Of the novels professing a moralj)urpose Un Drama 
Intimo by Moises Vargas possesses a certain interest by 
reason of the portrait of its heroine, Eug en ia, sham efully" 
deceived by the libertine Alberto. He falls in love with 

Amelia Reynal and wishes to marry her, but her father 
learns from Eugenia's own lips the story of Alberto's 
villainy and repeats it to his daughter. New lovers 
appear on the scene, Eduardo for Amelia and Ricardo 
for Eugenia. Eugenia dies and Ricardo kills Alberto in a 
duel. The other couple marry and live happily. The 
local color of this novel places it relatively high in its 
clas s. 

Among the most successful of Palma's rivals was Liborio 

E. Brieba. The original note of his very voluminous" 
work con sisted in th e s etting of his novels . . . . He "* 
selected the early his tor y of the rev olutionary period for 
his dramatic narratives. One of these, Los Talaveras: 

novela historica {1814.-1"/), has been several times reprinted. 
The period is the same as that chosen later by Blest 
Gana for his Durante la Reconquista. Brieba also essayed 
the ^ fantastic tale as we ll as the exploi tation o f crime. 

In the latter he was excelled in the next decade by 
Francisco Ulloa whose Astucias de Pancho Falcato has 
passed through five editions in Chile besides the reprints 
made of it in Buenos Aires and Barcelona. It is merely 

CHILE 231 

one manifestation of the band it literature coinnion to 
all Spanish-American countries. 

1 ho historical novel found many ad mirers and pjo- 
duccrs. Ramon Pacheco began to write in 1875, and 
brou fiht out several no vels before the Pe ruvian war. 
ThiL opened a new field of NyhichJictQQk full ad vantage. 
The most important of his early work was El Subttrrrdneo 
d< los JesuitaSy 1878, in two volumes of more than seven 
hundred pages each. The scandal implied by the title 
preserved enough interest in the story to warrant another 
edition in 1899. Of the novels dealing with the Peruvian 
war, La ChiUna Martir exploits an episode which oc- 
curred just prior to hostilities while La Generala Bucndia 
fills two volumes with her heroic and patriotic adventures. 

The masterpiece of Chilean historical fiction is undoubt- 

ed I y7ip7o7o7~y~7^WM7o«7j^ by Dan iel Barros Grez (bom 
1839). This is a carefully planned reproduction in the 
m anner of Walter Scott of the period of the supremacy of 
Portales and the st ruggles betw^een the parties who se 
popular names furnish the title . The characters more- 
over are well developed and interestmg. Barros Grez' 
next novel, El Huerfano, published 1881, though a series 
of adventures in the style of Don Quixote, extended 
through six volumes, has been termed a "photograph of 
the Chilean people in their infancy." While the adoption 
of the picaresque form allowed the aut hor to penetrat e 
all classes of society and portray all kinds of character, 
his use of an antiquated language imitating Cer vantes has 
not proved so pleasing. The main action oX-tlxe no veL 
concerns a younjg man of or)s<^ugtbi7tK hut of brilliant 
t^ctns,/^ho5-4^y "oVt^rcoming a thousand difficulties, 


achieves a fine social position and finally marries a dis- 
tinguished lady. Marriage with her had been coveted 
by an old man, very influential because of his intimacy 
with Portales. The scoundrel being unable to win Julia 
by fair means hires some bandits to carry her off. The 
story of this attempt and its frustration by the astuteness 
of Julia's father forms one of the most dramatic episodes 
of the book. Imitation of Cervantes carried Barros Grez 

^till farther . In his last very popular book he strung 
together a series of adventures in the city of Santiago as 
the observations of his dog, published 1898, with the 
title of Primeras aventuras del maravilloso perro Cuatro 
Remos en Santiago. Barros Grez' talents for observation 
^nd satire were also a pplied to the production of sketches 

^ for the popular stage and a hi storical play, El Tejedor 
La Batalla de Maipu. 

The application of naturalistic principles in novel 
writing, a m or e exact description of physical details and 
a more careful psychological analysis was first made i n 
Chile by Vicente Grez (1843 -1909). The same ability 

at characterization which he displayed in Emilia ReynalSy 
1883, and in La Dote de una J oven, 1884, was shown in a 
superior degree in Marianita, 1885. This is a tragedy 
caused by the activity of match-making relatives. Mari- 
anita is a simple motherless country girl who lives with 
her father by the seashore. A handsome young naval 
officer, Camilo, on a vacation, falls in love with her but 
his relatives prevent his plans for marriage. Besides, 
an ambitious neighbor, Dofia Carmela, desires that her 
son Sergio should marry Marianita. After an absence 
of two years, during which Camilo had both married and 

rmi.E 233 

bctn lift a widower, and Marianita had been betrothid 
to Siigio, Caniilo returns to the village by the sea. The 
old love between hini and Marianita revives and quickens 
into passion. .Xttcr a time tiring of his relations with her, 
Camilo one night fails to keep an appointment, and when 
she seeks him out on the beach, searching for a pretext 
to break with her, he calls attention to her engagement 
ring. As proof of her attachment to Camilo, she promptly 
throws Sergio's ring into the sea. But even such devotion 
does not prevent Camilo from hearkening to his aunt's 
plans for a marriage between him and a rich heiress. When 
Camilo leaves the village, Marianita, filled with despair, 
attempts to drown herself but is saved by a fisherman. 
Her father in his perplexity at her conduct calls on Sergio 
f(»r assistance. When Marianita witnesses the young 
man's real grief on learning her fault, she rushes from his 
presence crying that she is going in search of her engage- 
ment ring. Though Sergio pursues her, he is able to bring 
back from the waves only her lifeless body. 

Grez' next novel, El Ideal de un a Esposa, 1887, was 
greeted with ynthus iasm in Chile by critics who believed 
"th at he had produced a work of art worthy of Zola. Faus- 
tina, wife of Enrique and mother of a sickly son, notices 
a certain neglect on the part of her husband. Moved by 
suspicion she hunts him down one night when he is spend- 
ing his time drinking with women of loose character. 
1 hereafter she lives only for her son. Her love for him 
keeps her from falling into the snare laid for her by a 
doctor. When the son dies his parents are reconciled 
beside his dead body. 

Vicente Grez was not only a n ovelist but a literar y 


wo rker in many fields. As a journalis t he cont ributed 
widely to the periodicals of his day. In this line he won 

fame as an art critic. His volume of Becquerist verses, , 
Rdfagas, published in 1882, found favor with many. He 1 
essayed also the writing of popular history, and for an 
animated account of the famous victory of the Chilean 
warship " Esmeralda " was generally known as the author i 
of El Combate Homerico. 4 ' 

A^umber of minor novelists were contempora ry with 
the foregoing. Valentin Murillo began t o write as^arly 
as 1863, and conti nue d to produce at intervals fo r twenty- 
five years. H is most noteworthy novel was Una Victima 
del Honor, 1871, an attack on the death penalty based on 
circumstantial evidence. Another novelist who had ad- 
mirers was Enrique Montt, author of two studies of fe-"^ 
male character, Mujer y Angel, a tale of seduc tion, an3" 
Laura Duverne, 1883. Of grea ter v alue in realistic de- 
scription were the tales of Pedro N olasco Cruz, espe cially 
one entitled Esfehan and his pictu re of countr y life. Flor_ ^ 
de Campo, 1887. 

Alejandro Sil va de la Fuente promised greater achieve- 
ment by his Ventura, 1 88^, and Penas que matan, 1887. 
In Ventura he followed rather Spanish o r English models' 
than French by relying for interest, not so much on a com- 

plicated intrigue as on observation of manners and psy^ 
^hologica l analysis. Ventura is a young man, who comes 
to Santiago from a small village where he is a leader. 
Ambitious to rise he enters politics, and forgetful of his 
village sweetheart, Margarita, he courts a rich heiress for 
the purpose of using her money to further his plans. He 
fails utterly in his courtship and his politics. He falls 

CHILE 235 

sick .inJ, ashanu'd tt) return hnnu-, plans to commit 
suicide. But Margarita and her mother who have been 
informed of his ilhiess come to Santiago. Ihey take the 
disillusioned youth back to his country home where he 
marries Margarita. 

In Pfnas qur matan, Silva dc la Fuente again studied 
the charact er of a y oung ma n. Fernando in hne with 
Berta is compelled to witness her marriage to an old man. 
For pique he straightway allies himself with Angela 
Resales. When, after their marriage, they pay a cere- 
monious visit on Berta and her husband, love reawakens, 
$0 that presently Fernando stops one day at Berta's 
house, determined to declare his passion. The conse- 
quent excitement brings on a severe attack of his chronic 
ailment of the heart. As he falls completely unconscious, 
it is necessar)' for Berta to call for assistance. After this 
revelation of his soul to all the world, Fernando at the 
end of a week's suffering is graciously removed by death. 

The influence of President Balmaceda on the constitu- 

tutional history* of Chile also found an e cho amon g the 
novelists. During a period of ferment, Balmaceda had 
effected many changes, even conferring on the Congress 
powers which the old constitution had granted only to 
the president. \\ hen, however, a dispute with the Con- 
gress arose he was unwilling to yield the old prerogatives. 
.•\n uprising began in iS;<;i which he was unable to sup- 
press. Finding himself thus in a position without a way 
of escape except by flight or death he chose the latter. 

The anticlerical agitation of Balmaced a's time found _a_ 
supportcr in fiction, t88Q. in Borja Orihuela Grcz' El Cura 
Ctxnl. The scene is laid in a provincial city whose in- 


habitants side with the old priest when the new func- 
tionary arrives to supplant the priest in his duties of 
conducting the register of vital statistics. The provision 
of the law establishing a civil register which especially 
aroused the priest's ire was that permitting the official 
to perform civil marriage. Hence arose the nickname of 
"cura civil." One old inhabitant in grim humor even 
sent to get "the blessing of the government upon their 
union" a pair — of chickens. The young official, however, 
is both wealthy and discreet. As a result of his conduct 
he finally wins the esteem of town and its prettiest girl. 

■Of different ty pe was an explanat ion of Balmaceda'^ 
failure publish ed in the form of a novel, 1897, Los iiltimos 
Proyectos de Eduard o Castro by Rene Brickies . The book 
aroused much discussion because the author attributed^ 
the failure to the bad character of the soldiers who sup- 
ported the president. Brickles-drew a long and amusing 
series of caricatures with considerable realistic power. 

Balmaceda's constitutional changes threw the govem- 
ing power into the hands of the p lutocrats who had been. 

(^increasing greatly in number^. In fact, a rapid increase 
of wealth in Chile during the last quarter of the century 
is an economic fact to be borne in mind. It appears in 

r fiction at the end of the last decade of the century. 

i ^^milio Rodriguez Mendoza published in 1 89CL_a_short 

novel, Ultima Esperanza. The idea of the auth or was to 

_ show the evils brought into the country by bad French 

novels. The Spanish critic, Juan Valera, in reviewing 

the book declared that Rodriguez Mendoza had merely 
imitated them, that his story might have taken place 
in Paris as well as in Chile. In Vida Nueva, 1902, however, 

CHILE 237 

Rod riguez Mcndoza introduced morg |yal color. IIkm 
Miguel di' Unamuno inquind "why in tlusi- new countries 
do they insist on depictini; iverythinj; to us so corrupt?" 
Rodriguez Mendoza rcphed that he had described a 
genuine phase of htV in Santiago, that " the evils com e 
from the fact that th e people have tried to attain Kuropean 
culture at one bound." 

/'i</<i yurra concerns one Pedro who withdraws from 
club life, its gambling, drinking, and horse racing, and 
retires to write a few predictions of what he expects will 
happen to his various acquaintances. He tells them on 
taking leave that they will all end in poverty or the grave. 
.After an absence of four years, during which he receives 
no letters or papers, he returns to Santiago. Contrar\' to 
his expectations he finds that the sports and high livers 
are not only alive but have advanced commercially, 
politically and socially. Pedro's nervous system is so 
upset that his physician orders him to an asylum for the 

Luis Orrego Luco (bom 1S66), who began his literary 
labors by w riting short stories and sketches of tra vel, is 
a novelist of versatile talent. His Un Idilio Nurvo, 1900, 
depicts that class of society in Santiago in which money 
is the thing of greatest value in life. Before its power, 
neither love nor duty can stand. His Memorias de un 
Voluntario de la Pairia f'U ja, 1905, is a his to rical novel 
which puts before the reader both the state of society 
aru T the important personages of the year of revolution, 
I "13. His Casa Q rg rule, i (^S. excited much d jscussi2>n. 

J!4ction in the form of the short storv was l ittle prac- 
ticed in Chile, before the twentieth centrmr A^vTrgin 


lay thus rea dy for the ex ploitation of the presen t 
generation. There have always been of course examples 
of a similar kind of literature so closely allied that the^ 
division line is hard to draw, namely, the descriptive, often 
jocose, article of manners. But the distinction between 
the descriptive article and the tale should be borne in ^ 

The earliest prose tales written by a Chilean were 
those of J. V. Lastarria, collected several years after their~ 
appea-rance, in a volume entitled Ant aiio y Hogano be - 
cause some of the tales were in the nature of historic 

legends. Much later in time came the short stories o f 
, Orihuela Grez an d of Orrego Luco, wh ose longe r works 
of fiction have been discussed. Of the^ younger writers 
who hav e sought to rival Maupassant, several are worthy 
of hiention. G. Labarca H u b e rtso n and R. Malu en da. 
have portrayed Chilean c ountry life and country people 
in an artistic manner.. Their men and women are real 
beings "with whose loves and sufferings the reader is com- 
pelled to sympathize.' The characteristic iro ny of the 
Maupassant tale seemed the important thing to F. Santi- 

^ banez and to A. C. Esp ejo. For that reason their stories 
. of domesticJii£-tbeagh'en TeiLaiuing aic n et-so uthoroughly 

, Chilean. A master of the short story is Baldomero Lillo^ 
. whose two collections, Sub terra (1904) and Sub sole (1907), 
interspersed with descriptive articles, reveal many classes _ 
of the Chilean population, farmers, fishermen, the Arau- 

; canian Indian, children, miners. 

The descriptive sket ch which has flourished so w idely 
in all Spanish-American countries, on account of the 
necessities of journalism has on the whole a less jocose 

CHILE 239 

character, less Andalusian salt, aiul more matter of fact 
th i> ^ ' u luTf. I he C luU-an model has hvvn J. J. Vallcjo, 

J.. Ui lav he," whose sketches arc both instructive and 

Forty years later, Daniel Riquelme became his first 
>c rlous rival in the same line. Just as others were able to 
(\ti.ict comic verse from t he war with Peru, Ri(]u elme 
t uirui much material for humoristic sketches of military 


The palm, however, for humorous de scription of man- 

ncrs must be awa rded to Roman Vial (183 3-96). jejjdes^^ 

fte was the favorite author of comic sketches for the sta£e. 

frgm his first comedy in 1S71, Los Extrrmos se tocan to 
I. __ - _ — ^ — 

CfT,i: itud y Amor in 1881. His Mujer-II ombre was awarded 
a prize in a literary contest. 

The legend or historical anecdote is a form of 1 iterat u re 
made especially popular by the Peruvian, Ricardo Palma. 
In Chile this form was cultivated by Enrique del Solar 
(bom 1S44), son of the poetess, Merced es Marin del Solar. 
He fr ankly aban doned any historical purpose though he 
borr owed from written or oral tradition the main facts 
of his narratives wrought ou t with wealth of detail . For 
example, Una Avcntura de ErcillCy an anecdote from the 
poet's life, gave opportunity to present the character of 
the warrior bard against the background of colonial days. 
Knrique del Solar also wrote several novels which won 
applause at the time of their appearance. Dos Ihrmanos 
won a prize in a newspaper contest in i8S6. He also pe r- 
| ,_ibnned a gr eat service to l iterature by the ed iting aqj 
p ubhshmg of his mother's poems. 
Alberto del Solar (bom i86o), be g an his literary career 


by a legend Huincahual dealing with a love affair be- 

twe en an Araucanian Indian and a white woman, a tom e 
which allowed the author to p resent many descrip tions 
of former days. ^I berto del Solar h as spent a part of his 
life in the diplomatic servi ce of his country. His impres- 
sions of South Americans in Paris are rendered in Rasta- 
quoere, 1 890. Of his novels Contra la Marea, 1894, and 
El Faro, 1902, the latter is the more interesting. That 
again treats of the exotic in the sense that the action takes 
place on a distant island of the Chilean coast where ele- 
mental passions hold sway in the little colony of three 
men and the tlaughter of the keeper of the light. 

J'rom the leg e nd to genu ine histo ry is but a step, and in- 
writing of their hist ory Chileans have excelled. The 
V striking characteristic of their historical style, the im-^ 
partial na rrative fortified by citation of original documents, 
has been attributed to the influence of Andres Bello. From 
the moment of his installation in 1843 as the first rector 
of the University of Chile, he superintended the publica- 
tions of the various faculties which were obligator}"^ upon 
their members. It was voted that one member of each 
faculty should each year present to the university a study 
of some topic in national history. 

^Of the vast result of such labor only this cursory me n- 
tion can be made. And it is possible t o consider here on ly * 
those writers who have been most prominent by reason of 
their copiousness , r In this respect Benjamin Vicuiia 
Mackenna (1831-86) holds first p lace not only in his own 
country but in America. The sum of his published work 
has been calculated at one hundred and sixty volumes 
comprising forty-three thousand four hundred and two 

cmi.F 241 

printid pages. Evcr\' epoch of Chilean histor y see ms 
t o have been inv estigated by him^jnitLtlu' rcstil fs nriiii 
K'searches narrated in an interesting, almost popular style. 
His f3\\)ri(e lorni was the biographic al account of a leader, 
~a form which allowed full scope and play tf> f^'' bnman — 
in terest of the narrative.^ 

O f a more strictly scientific form were the labors of the 
brothers Miguel Luis and Gregorio \'ictor Amunategui. 
C^ account of the similarity of their style it is considered 

irapoiiilikL-tiLseparate the individual work. It is certain, 
however, that the interests of Miguel LuFs, the elder 
y i 828-8^), con cerned literary topics and literary men. To 
the brothers Amunategui the world owes the earliest een- 
cral d iscussion of Spanish-American poetry in th eir Juicios 
criticos de algunos Poctas hispano-americanos, written for 
the literar}' contest of the Circulo de los Amigos de las 
Letras in 1859. For the literary history of Chile the 
biographies of Andres Bello, of Sanfuentes and of Camilo 
Henriquez, and the researches in early efforts in letters 
contained in the volumes La Alborada poetica rn Chile and 
Las prinieras RfprfSc-ntacioyiesaramdticasen Chile hy .\I. L. 
^m unategui are indispe nsable. M iguel Luis Amunategui 
also took an important part in politics and rose to be 
csTJc n t of the Chamber of Deputies and a candidate , 

though u nsucce ssful, for the presidency of Chile. 

\\ hile the historical researches of other men dealt with 

s eparatF individ uals or periods, that of Diego Barros 
Arana (i^jo-k^S) formed a comprehensive study of the 
whole. \S hatever he published earlier in life found a 
summary in his final monumental Historic general df Chile. 
After Bcllo, Chile's greatest scholar is undoubtedly Barros 


Arana. Objection has sometimes been made to his dry im- 
partial style, but no reproach can be cast at the historical 
accuracy of this last word on Chilean history . 

^The literary history of Chile owes much to Luis Montt 
(1848-1909), formerly~director of the national I i brary7 
auth or of a bibliography of the ol der histori ans of Chile, 
w hose private library was purchased by a friend of Harvar d 
University and given to it as a remembrance of the Pan- 
american scientific congress at Santiago de Chile. Luis 
Montt's literary labor was diverse in character including 
a volume of poems, a life of Camilo Henriquez and an 
^ition in forty-eight volumes of the works of D. F. Sar- 
miento; an edition of Pedro de Ofia's poem El Vasauro 
and the memoirs of Vicente Perez Resales, entitled ^^- 
cuerdos del Pasado. ^ 

The assistance to the historian of such memoirs is^con- 
siderable. Important and interesting for the period w hich 
it covers is Recuerdos de Treinta Arios, publish ed in 1872 bj^ 
^ose Zapiola (1802-85). 

Encyclopedic in its thoroughness h as been th e labor of_ 
Jose Toribio Medina (horn 1852) wh o h,is invest'g^fpd «"hft 
history of printing in every Spanish-American country ,^ 

during the c olonial period. Kqimlly aiithnri rarive is 

Historia de la Literatura colonial de Chile . 

Concerning the immense amount of historical writing 
which has been produced in Chile no statement could be 
mo re precise or illuminating than that of Jorge 'T-Tiineeus 
Gana in his Cuadro historico de la Prod itcfian inte!ertu/'f 
de Chile. "It is a very interesting circumstance fo r any- 
body who tries to investigate the social traits^jjf our people ' 
to discover from the very moment of its independent con-^ 

CHILE 243 

stitiition an ixrr;uirilinary zeal for t\u- patiint invtsti^a- 
tion o\ ou r pa st. Kaih tpoih. ta^h adnii nisf r.if imm, .■.,->, 
gcntral. each rt-voluti;)n. has IkhI its sptcial liistoriaii. 'Ih i s 

trait in itsilf reveals the strii)UsiKss of the Chilean char- 



In Peru the period immediately following the expulsion 
of the Spaniards was not propitious for the production of 
literature. For twenty years incessant quarrels between 
conte nding factions, theTpeedv~overthrow of one dictator _ 
after another ke pt the countr y in a state of ana rchy, until 
a strong man, Ramon Castilla (i 797-1 867), became pres- 
ident in 1845. He reestablished order and prosperity, 

introduced the first telegraph and the first railroad, abol- 
ished negro slavery and the personal tribute exacted from 
the Indians, set up a new constitution, stimulated foreign 
trade; in short he ruled Peru with an iron hand for her own 

good. During the fifteen years of his administration 
literature began to flourish. " 

The principal figure i n this r enaissance of letters wa s one 
of Castilla's foremost political opponents, Felipe Pardo y 

Aliaga (1806- 68). His activity, however, was largely 
limited to journalis tic satire, but his son Manue l Par do 
became Castilla's successor in the direction of Peruvian 

affairs, being actually Pre s i d en t of Peru f rom 1872 to 18 7^ 
Felipe Pardo was sprung from the old Peruvian aristocracy. 
His mother was a daughter of the Marques de la Fuente 
Hermosa, while his father was regent of the royal audiencia 
of Cuzco. Taken to Spain when Peru passed from Spanish 
control, he became a pupil of the famous teacher Alberto 




Lista and even one of his favorite pupils. In 1S2S he re- 
turneJ to Lima. He signahzed his arrival by a comedy 
presenting national manners, Frutos de la Educaciun, in 
three acts. In this play are revealed the characteristics, 
gay wit and suhtTe irony, which mark atl his writings. Tn~ . 
'fact these qualities m varying form, a modification 
Andalusian salt, give a peculiar indi vid uality to all Peru 
vian literature. 

Lima being the seat ot the Spanish government in 
America, the residence of the viceroy and the place of re- 
sort for persons of wealth, there developed a distinctly 
urban society with customs, ideas, and manners of its own. 
Its love of pomp and display found satisfaction in bull- 
fighting, in the theater, and in religious processicms on 
the many feast days. Its necessity for chatter, laughter 
and gallantr>' gave rise to parties, picnics, and serenades to 
the sound of the guitar beneath the balconies. Its love for 
dancing came from it s Andalusian blood; f rom its more dis- 
tant Moorish ancestors the custom among the women of 
covering the face. The ladies of Lima adopted the odd 
habit of wearing over their heads a black shawl which 
with one hand they held drawn about the face disclosing 
only one eye. What havoc that one sparkling eye is said 
to have caused in the hearts of youth! The girls, ca- 
pricious and willful before marriage, became tyrannical 
mothers of large families. In both men and women the 
s*»ft climate of Lima engendered an easy-go ing insou ciance, 
a frivolity of mind which took few things seriou s 1 yand w as_ 
immensely pleased by the laughter-causing jest at any 
trifle. For the kind of wit which could set a whole com - 
pany m an uproar of laughter, as a spark can set going a 



pack of firecrackers, they coined the term "chispa." 
One successful writer of epigrams entitled his productions 

"chispazos." Naturally there developed in such quick- 
-witted persons a special vocabulary . 

Wjien Pardo portrayed this society in his three comedies , 
he could not deny free rein to his fun-loving disposition 
but he so guided it in accord with his European education 

and aristocratic breeding as to censure vulgar or im moral 
tendencies. In Los Frutos de la Educacion, he ridiculed 

the father who tries to impose a husband upon his daugh- 
ter as harshly as he judged the young woman who loses 
her sweetheart because she dances with too great aban- 
don the "zamacueca." In Una Iliierjana en Chorrillos, 
produced in 1833, the fop, Don Quintin, who imitates 
everything French, even speaking Spanish badly from 
affectation, apparently a common type of youth, is not 
permitted to carry off the young heiress, because morality 
in the form of her two aunts interferes; nor do the manners 
of the seaside resort where dancing continues till daylight 
escape satire. Don Leocadio is another play of manners in 
which Pardo thought to chastise by ridicule. 

In 18^6 Pardo was Peruvian min is ter in Chile and took 
rather an active part in the intellectual life in Santiago, 
even to the ex tent of pu blishing a peri odical. El I j Uer- 
prete. At this time were writt en some of Pardo's fam ous 
letrillas. Th ese are clever humorous verses with out bit- 
terness, composed merely for the sake of jesting on a 
variety of homely topics, as his coat, a bat hing suit, an 
incident in th e bul l fight or the pec ulia rities of a n m- 
d ividual. 

After Pardo's return to Peru he placed his pen at the 


s ervice of the conservative party. T he cleverest of his 
efforts appeared in 1859, when Presiilent C'astiUa was 
promulgating his new constitution. Panlo eclitiil a satiric 
sheet, Esprjo de mi Ticrra in wliiih hi' hclil up to scorn 
those democratic prop»)sals wliich grated on his aristo- 
cratic nerves. To him the cry "\'iva hi Ubertad" was 
the suhlest irony, when hberty meant for the negro and 
his former master equahty before thi- hiw. In numhcr 
three of the Esprjo de- mi Titrra, he published a very 
amusing parody on the new constitution. Article by 
article he commented in verse on the various provisions 
after this fashion. Citizenship: Property is not a requisite 
condition; still one would advise the citizen to have trousers 
and a shirt. Property: It is inviolable, except when taken 
by the soldiers of the dictator. 1 Ik- ni;inncr of saying 
these things in fluent verse adds immensely to the effect. 
But ui cour.i c m .'ipim uf rhcjr evident cleverneijSi Pardo's 
political satires cou KI n<it live beyond the occasion which 
called them forth. They did, however, set the tone for 
subsequent writers. 

Manuil .\. Segura (1805-71 )^ was no t Pardo's equal in 
s atiric verses but excelled him in the comedy of rnanner s, 
1^ fb in character drawing and instvle. He h as twelve 
cnniedies to his credit. As he did not begin to write till 
after his discharge from the army in 1S39, his work covers 
a slightly later period than the comedies of Pardo. But 
both men d esc ri b ed the same world of p.iyrry rmd frivniiry. 
I he girl who meets a lover at the window contrary to her 
father's command reappears in Segura's La Moza Mala. 
In S'a Catita and Saya y tnanto the Peruvian type of CV- 
lestina, ready for any sort of errand or intrigue, holds the 


center of interest. El Sargento CaniUo entertains the 
public with his account of the battle of Ayacucho and his 
preparations to meet the Spaniards if they dare return to 
Peru. The Lances de Amancaes, produced in 1862, stage 
the occurrences at a picnic attended by half the popula- 
tion of Lima. In these plays Segura proves h imself a 
J)etter observ er of native manners than Pardo and unlike 
him cared nothing about inculcating a moral. 

The contemp oraries o f Pa r do and Segura who cultivated 
lyric poetr}^ were younger men. To them the spirit of 
European r omanticism came across the, spas <:timii1nt ing_ 
them to a mbitious imitati o n. But so foreign to Peru- 
vian temperament was the melancholy pose that Ven-^ 
tura Garcia Cald eron ^ writes thus: "Read in succession 
— the works of the whole romantic generation in Pe r u seem J ; 
like the prod u c t i o ns of a single author, so uniform a re 
their co mmo n lamentati ons. Imitating the same masters 
wits h servility, they did not always succeed in ex p ressing 
their mela ncholy with indiv iduality^ And because they 
confused lyric poetry w'ith eloquence, a frequent con- 
fusion with us, th ey exa ggerated their accent. They , 
rivaled each other i n disappointment. Each cried loudet 
than the other ." 

It is, however, not s trictly correct to say that no dis- 
tinctions between the poets exist. . For example there 
arose in Arequipa a whole flight of minor poets with an in- 
dividuality as different as is the invigorating climate of 
their mountain city situated eight thousand feet above 
sea level in sight of lofty volcanic peaks, as different as 
such a situation from that of Lima. The most important 

' V. Garcia Calderon, Del Romanticismo al moderniimo, page 105. 


of the Arequipans was Manuel Castillo (1814-70). His 

first pt H-m was indited to the t omb of the rtvol utionary 

her o t)f his native town. Mariano Melgar. Castillo him- 
self suffered banishment for participation in an uprising. 
His poems showed a genuine feeling for nature. Ks- 
pccially did the verses Al Misti reveal that his soul was 
filled with the majesty of the mountain that dominates 
the landscape of Arequipa. 

T he maje sty of nature again was the stimulus that 
incited Manuel Nicolas Corpanch o (1H39-63), to his best 
worlT At eighteen he had written a drama El Poeta 
cru'uido. In i^^53, when returning from P^urope through 
the straits of Magellan the sublimity of the scenery in- 
spired him to compose a poem, Magallanes of epic form 

' concerning that navigator. The first canto described the 
interview of Magellan with Cardinal Cisncros from whom 
he obtained five ships; the second canto depicted the de- 

I parture from Seville; the third the death of Magellan, 
followed by a "corona poctica," laudatory lines on the 
great achievements of the hero. Corpancho also essayed 
the heroic note in poems on tht past of Peru. The Ar- 
gentine poet Marmol who wrote an introduction for Cor- 
pancho's collected poems, Ensayos Pol'ticos, 1 854, asked 
him why he chose to write of the past rather than the 
future. The question indicates the difference between 
the outlook of the two countries represented by the two 
men. C orpancho' s praise s of Per uvian gxrarnr.s.s-made 
him popula r. In iS6o he was appointe d minister to 
Mexico. Three years later he met a tragic death in the 
burning at sea of the steamship " Me.vSA^o." 
The most genuine in his lyric grief because it accorded 


with his natur al temperam ent and circumstances o f life 
.^as Carlos Augusto S alaverry (1831-9 0). The impression 
made on his youthful mind by seeing his father shot as a 
rebel was never effaced. His melancholy was sincere when 
his verses linked love and death. The theme of love, 
particularly in the series of poems Cartas a un Angely 
he treated with pleasing and unusual delicacy but with 
emphasis on the sadness of separation from the beloved. 
Loneliness and yearning for the distant sweetheart has 
rarely been more poetically expressed than in his poem 
Acuerdaie de mi, brought to a climax with the cry from the 
depths of his soul, "Remember me! " 

Clemente Althaus (1835-81) was rather more of a 
professional litterateur. For that reason he imitated many 
different styles an d passed from romanticism in his early ^ 
poems to c lass icism in h is later verses. T here is also a 
heroic note in the denunciation of the Spanish fleet which 
seized the Chinchon islands in 1866, a note inherited per- 
haps from his father who was a general at the battles of 
Ayacucho and Junin. There is even a hint of the na tive^ 
Peruvi an ironical jest. In his abundance, some six hun- 
dred printed pages of verse, there are essays at the poetical 
legend, as Justina and Carmen y Rafael. 

A more philosophical poet who wrote from his personal_i 
experience in life was Jose Arnaldo Marq uez (i 830-1904). 
. He tried to put the theory of the cosmos into verse by set- • 
ting up the ato m and force as opponents. His scientinc 
turn of mind led him to become an inventor of a machine 
to print with a reduced number of types, a sort of fore- 
runner of the linotype. Attempts to interest capital in 
its perfecting carried him to Buenos Aires and thence to 


Paris where he liviil in txtreiiu- poverty. The pitiful 
stt)r\' of his struggles lie told in Mcditaciun. His poem 
.y Solas expresses the resignation of a fatalist to the evil 
t)f loneliness inevitably suffereci by a poor man. 

I n Pedro Paz Soldan y Unanue (1839-95), his coun try 
possessed a poet whos e peculiar excellenci es not only 
plac ed him withcnit a riv al in Peru, but g ave him a marke d 
i ndividuality among the foremost in Spanish America . 
I he name "Juan de Arona" with which he signed his 
poems was derived from that of the family estate situated 
at some distance from Lima. An d the beauty of that rc- 
gion appeared most minutely observed i n his poems, so 
mirTutcly that critics have blamed him for trying to write 
poet n>" about the common things of everyday life on the 
turnv__Though his first collection of poems, Ruinas, had 
echoes of the romantic pose suggested by the title, it was 
full of life and color, love of flowers and birds, whose song 
he even tried to imitate as in the lines. 

La ronca cuculi cuya garganta 
Rompe con sus arrullos la espesura. 

Rut his temperament was too healthily Peruvian to 
b e long depressed, rather on his blue days (as he says m 
Los Dias turbios) he was inclined to rage like a hyena at 
w hatever vexed him and to delight in the misfortunes of 
o thers. His state of mind was u su ally one which expressed 
i tself in jesn ng at everything and everybody. Most 
wonderful was the amount of fun which he extracted 

from an account in facile verse of a journ ey made by a 
mixed company from Lim a, twenty leagues in to the 
■4it]int^- Th.. persons in the cavalcade, the places and 


incidents on the way all furnished him with ample ma 
terial for burlesque. At greater length he told in moci 
heroics, La Pinzonada, the deeds of Admiral Pinz5n. Oi 
he sympathized with the complaints of the wife of a mule 
driver. If the verses of a poet signing himself "Roterup'1 
struck him as bad, he addressed the unlucky authoi 
several Roterupadas. 

A s time brought disappointments to Paz Soldan, thj 
tone of his satir e became moxe and niQj£ bitter till in the 
periodical El Chispazo, edited by him, the acme of politica 

irony was reached . As if to relieve his mind by resort tc 
nature, withoiiL-the gall which for him now pervadec ^ 
the Peruvian landscape, he busied himself by translati on; 
o f Virgil's Georgics an d extracts from Lucretius and Ovid 
I n estimating Paz Soldan, ho wever, the most intrinsically 
valuab le and int eresting of his work s will alwa3's remair 
the pictures of native life and Peruvian scenery in thi 
Cuadros y Episodios peruanos, published in 1867. 

Wherever romanticism flourished as a fashion in versi 
making, a translator was in demand. Such a place fell t( 

Manuel Adolfo Garcia, whose renderings of V ictor Hug* 
were popular in Peru. Temporarily popular also wer 
some of his own compositions both those of lyric characte 
and those with epic ring as the eloquent invocation y 

The last of the romanticists was Ricardo Rossel (184J 
IQOq). And he followed the spiritualistic ideal of Lamai 
tine rather than the sensual and pessimistic trend of late 
French poets. His most notable poem, Meditacibn en t 

Cementerio, written on a text from Lamartine, expresse 
the hope that after death the great secret of human de£ 

PERU AND BOLIVIA ^^ \^^^^ ) ^^ I k^ > ' 
, tiny will he rcvcalinl to him though he will lA- unahh" |o VSv*^ 
conuminicatc it to a qmsumiinf; pott who ni.iy come to 
sji on his tomh. I.iLi- othir IVriivians, however, Rosscl 
[ i loved th e mcrPt' lauph ami wrote more than one letrilla 
on a native topic . Historical legends too interested him. 
(>ne of them in verse, Ilima Sumac, won a prize in a 
Chilean contest, 1 877. 
One of the mos t widely known Peruvians was Luis_ 
I : Benjamin Cisneros (iS;^7 1904), hoth because his pro- 
j i ductivc period was long .Ind lucaiise he lived much in 
, 1 other countries and contributed to their periodicals. 
\!<)re<ner, the breadth of spirit in the kind of epic verse 
which he cultivatcil li fted his poems from the narrow 
circle of the merelv local. .\s Ptniviaii consul in Havre 

[ for eight years in the si,xtics, he made the acquaintance 
of many Spanish Americans, an experience which gave 
rise in him to a strongly Pan-hispanic feeling. 1 his is 
voiced in his Elfgia a la Muerte de Alfonso XII, exprcs.s- 
ing a certain degree of real grief at the loss suffered by 
the nation to which the Spanish Americans are bound, 
Ixith by ties of blood and by a common historical past. 
While Cisneros' ode .11 Ptrti in 1S60, was a romantic 
outburst of grandiloquent patriotism, his fervid prophecy 
of a glorious future, .4urora Amor; canto al Siglo A A, in 
1885, was written in almost classic style. 

Likewise a wanderer from Peru, Carlos C Am<'/.aga 
[. 19c/'), derived his originality from his mercunal and 
excitable temperament. In Mixico, the vehemence of 

; j tb c verses of Dia/. .Miron pleased him so that with like 
arrogance he threw out the challenge of an .ictivt- rebel 

jguinst the injustice of fate. An admirer of heroism 



Amezaga celebrated its manifestations among the humble . 
The most interesting of his poems of this kind is the in- 
complete Leyenda del Caucho which in epic style exalts 
the hardships of the poor Indian rubber gatherer in the 
tropical forests. In Buenos Aires, Amezaga won a prize J 
with his meritorious Mas alia de los Cielos, in which he { 
voices the belief, despite assailing doubts to the contrary, j 
that humanity will be redeemed by means of science and i 
poetry. Aftiezaga was the author also of a couple of ' ■ 
dramas along the same lines as hi s verses, but they were \ 
not staged and are rather too l yric al for presentation. 

Another philosophical poet but one who, finding verse j 
t oo confining for his thought, adopted the essay in the 
style of Montaigne was Manuel Gonzalez Prada (bom 

1844). At twenty years of age he expressed his pessimism^ 

by elegies to solitude, but being influenced by the anti- 
clericalism of the Ecuadorean Montalvo he began to 
attack religion till he seemed to many good people "an 
agent of Satan in Peru." His radica lism fi nally d e veloped 

..^I'ntn ari^rc^hjsjj x, a nihilistic tendency to overthrow every- 
thing existent . The essays in Pdginas litres fulminate 
not only against religion but against such things as gram- 
mar and orthography. In contrast to his demand for 
freedom of style in prose are both the fo rm and thought ^ 
of his later verses pub lished wit h the title Minusculas . 
I n such high ly artificial forms as the triolet and the rondel 

^he sings in mystic strain a happy humanity redeemed 
from its pre sent miser y. As 2. profe ssor of liferatiir^, 

Gonzalez Prada is said to ha ve taught a whole genera- 

tion to write well. 

In Ricar do Pal ma (bom 1833), Peru may claim the 



inventor of a new fo rm in literature, the tradition, to gi'vr 
i t the name which t he author himself employed. It is 
nothing; more than the historical anecdote, frequently 
>nly a hit of scandal, a sensational or unusual crime, a 
practical joke, just such things as appear in the newspapers 
evcr>' day, hut Palma's traditions were gleaned from the 
histoncal chronicles of Peru. Though he vouched for 
their accuracy they were written in such a vein of humor 
with the striking points so skillfully brought out that his 
V ritics accused him of falsifying history without suc- 
. (.-e ding in pr odu cing a novel. None of his Imitators ever 

qui te caught t he t rick of style w hich made his work popu- 
lar in all the periodicals of Spanish America for thirty 
yea rs. 1 he inimitable was probably the dash of Peruvian 
I wit. Besides he ransacked s o thoroughl y both the oral 

■ ni written traditions o f Peru th at he left little in th at 

: . eld for anybody else. 

Palma, when scarcely twenty years of age, was banished 
I for participation in a political plot. Accordingly, in Paris 
j he published a volume of verse, Armonias, libro de un 
' destrrrado. While it contained enough laments in ro- 
Tiantic tone to justify the sub-title, the most original 
I poems were certain "cantorcillos" miniatures in verse of 
his later traditions in prose. 

In the first series of traditions. Palmar aimin i^ rp^^p ar~^ 
j the hi storian's task, related the acts of the viceroys; 
iJB ut as the number of the series le ngthened into nine ^ 
j b etween iS6 ^ and 1899, any sort of anecdote afforded 
j h im material. Con sequently he playe d upon a great 

diversity of emotion fr(jm the thrill of horror to the broad 

laugh, and introduced members of every class of society 


from the viceroy to the slave. Being somewhat sk eptical 
himself, he delighted in stories referring to religious super- 
stitions, belief in ghosts or tales dealing with loose living " 
by friars. At the same time he paid willing tribute to " 
heroism, as in the story of Fray Pedro Marieluz, who 
died rather than reveal the secrets of the confessional 
even when his political sympathies would have persuaded 
him to do so. 

But to excite laughter was Palma's chief aim. As an 
example take the tale of the skeptical Andalusian shop- 
keeper, who did not believe in hell. A fanatic priest 
wished to buy some provisions of him on credit. The 
man refused to sell, saying discourteously: " I won't 
trust you in order to be paid in hell, that is, never." 
The priest accused the shopkeeper of being a heretic 
because he did not believe in hell and so worked on the 
sentiment of the villagers that the shopkeeper had to flee 
to save his life. The priest incidentally excommunicated 
him. To lift the decree of excommunication, the shop- 
keeper betook himself to the archbishop in Lima. The 
latter imposed as penance marriage with a certain young 
woman of ill repute, daughter of a famous vixen. After 
the shopkeeper had been married a short time, he admitted 
to a friend that the priest was right in affirming the ex- 
istence of hell "because I have it at home." 

The plastic character of Palma's traditions owes much 
to his constant effort to cull the homely phrase or tH t*^ 
picturesque turn of expression from the speech of th t 
people or from old books. He put together some observa 
tions of this sort in his Papeletas lexicogrdficas, a con 
tinuation of Paz Soldan's Diccionario de Peruanismos 


\s a result i)f this cart-ful iit)cunK'nt.itioii ami Palma's 
J resolve ni)t to inject into the narrative any fancies of his 
j own, t he reader of his traclitit)ns feels that the v ivid 
; picture of col>)nial times and ideas possesses historic^ 
i v alue and is thankful that Palina has wiped from it the 
l~3ust of apes. 

I That more than one of Palma's tra ditions related in a 

few p apes of print might he expanded into a novel has been 

indi cated by \'alera. Hut Hction by a curiosity of fate 

, was c ultivated in Peru by women. This may have been 

I jue to the influence of a remarkable woman of Ar gentine 

j birth, Juana Manuela Gorriti de Belzu, whose life story 

tqualled the inventions of fiction. 

Bom in 1 8 19, at the age of twelve she emigrated with 

' her father when he was banished and lived with an uncle 

I in Bolivia. At the age of fifteen she was married to 

I Manuel Belzu, then a colonel in the Bolivian army, and 

I later one of the most noted if not notorious characters in 

I Bolivian histor>'. Belzu being partly of Indian blood, 

I a "cholo," he wielded great influence with the Indian 

I dement so strong in his country. In 1847, when ordered 

j to take his command to the frontier, he started a rebellion. 

, Though unsuccessful he merely suffered temporary dep- 

nvation of his position for soon thereafter he was made 

minister of war. In 184S, pretending to make an inspection 

t the frontiers, he organized an uprising which put him 

; at the head of the government. As President of Bolivia 

j he ruled despotically for seven years. Driven out then 

I he lived in Europe for ten years, till in 1865 he returned 

j and started a revolution. Momentarily successful he was 

assassinated in the presidential palace by his beaten rival 


Melgarejo who was accepted as president by the troops 
assembled in the square below. 

During Belzu's exile and after his death, his wife, Juana 

Manuela Gorriti, lived in Lima where she became promi- 

nent for she instituted a girls' school and edited a periodi- 
cal. El Correo del Peru. As early as 1845 she had written 
a considerable tale, La Quena, dealing with the history of 
the Incas and the days of their splendor in Cuzco. She 
continued to write stories mainly with a historical plot, 
some of which were based on events in Argentina in the 
time of Rosas. In Buenos Air es in 1865, a wave of popu- 
larity in her favor was inaugurated by the editors oT'a' 
r eview who printed a nd sold by su bscription a collection 
of her stories with the title Suejios y Real i dade s. Since 
then Juana Gorrit i has been l au ded in Arge ntina as one of 
t he literary glories of the country. In Lima where she, 
made her home for so many years her influence was very 
great. No literary gathe ring was complete without her 

For example, she arranged a magnificent ovation to 
Clorinda Matto de Turner when she came to Lima in 1877. 
Clorinda Matto, born i8 t;4, was a well-educated and tal- 
ented young lady of Cuzco who married an Englishman, 
Dr. Turner, in 1871. S'he wrote verses and articles for 
various pap ers and attracte d special attention by tradi- 
tions in Ricardo Raima's manner dealing with her native 
city Cuzco. R aima was present at the reception in Lima 
and congratulated her. After his remarks and the reading 
of various poems Juana Gorriti crowned the guest with a 
wreath of silver filigree and presented her with a gold pen. 
Two years after this ceremony at the time of the war with 


Cliilc, her popularity among her compatriots enabled her 
to carr)' out suicissfully a pti Mic subs cription to c(iu ip 
3 regiment of sokijcrs known as the "libn-s ilc Cu zco." 
AtU T her husband 's death i n i88l» C l orindii \T:iftM Jc« 
voted her attentit)n entirely to literature. 

In her writing a s in her conduct love of country' was the 
distinguishuig characteristic, both of the traditions (;f 

which she published two series and of her famous novel 
/ f sin NiJo. The latter for its social importance has 
lam compared to UncU Tom's Cabin. ihc Peruvia n 
novel written in picturesque style, portrays the wretched 
co ndition of the Indian living i n subjection to the exactions 
of the gover nor, >he par ish pr iest and the land holder . 

** Avfs sin Sido" says the Mexican critic Y . Sosa,' "is a 
book which the President of Peru .md the head of the Peru- 
vian church ought to learn by heart; the first in order to 
learn in all its enormity the depraved conduct of the civil 
oppressors of the Indians and the second in order to root 
out the race of bad priests." 

More succ ess ful purely as a novelist was Mercedes 
Cabello de Carbonero. She may truly be called the one 
Peru vian wri ter who has pr oduced realistic pictures of 
Peruvian society. In Las Consecuencias she studied the 
evil of gambling as it develops in Peru. The frequent 
revolutions originating in some politician's disappointed 
ambitions are explained in FA Conspirador, as well as the 
moral and social degeneration of the individuals concerned. 
Blanca Sol, published in i'^'^'^ is the drama of a woman of 
s(K-icty borne on to ruin through her desire to shine, her 
bad education and the evil example of the world about 
' F. So«a, Escritorts y Poetas sud-amfricanos. 


her, a Madame Bovary in a Peruvian environment. This, 
the most popular of her books, has passed through several 
editions and been reprinted in many Spanish-American 

In the present generation of writers Peru has given the 
world one of the dominating figures of the latest phase 
of Spanish-American literature, Jose Santos Chocano. 
Though his works have their roots in Peruvian soil theiF 
fruits have been shared by the whole Spanish-American 

world. T hey will therefore be considered in connection, 
with the modernista movement. 

A few of his leading contemporaries in Peru should be 
mentioned. Clemente Palma, son of Ricardo Palma, 

having inherited his father's ironical ability, displayed it 
in a field of his own selection. His Cuentos Malevolos" 

exploit the malice in mankind. Wherever he could find an 
anecdote of a man who rejoiced in his neighbor's harrh or 
ill luck, he put it in artistic form, whether the individual 
was a stolid Russian peasant who watched a peasant 
carter's load of fish being jolted into the river without 
warning him or whether it was Satan behind the cross 
sneering at the dying Christ. 

Of poets Jose Galvez has most shown the influence of 
C hocano, but is more original i n his erotic sonnets, and 
poems. A melodic Conversion de Venus retells in epic form 

with a curious mingling of Greek and biblical elements 
the story of Mary Magdalen. To the erotic and musical 
j2i:a ctitioners of verse b elong also Jjuan del Ca rpio and 
Leonid as N. Yerovi . 

, , The novel, also of the erotic type, has been practiced by 
Felipe Sassone of I talian parentage and bv En ri que A. 


Carrillo; and with the same tendencies the realistic drama 

' * by Mjnucl Ik doyn. 

' ' Speaking now of serious liter;mire Jose de la Riva_ 
Agiiero has studied the Ca rdcUr de la Literatur a del P^ ru. 
:fidfpfudunte as well as the historian s of his country. But 
V < Garcia Calderon has won international fam e by 

ni > on contemporaneous h istorical or philosophical 

Topics in his H o mbres e Ideas de neustro Tiempo and his 
Prof e sores de Idealismo. Written in French Le Perou 
' contemporain was crowned by the French Academy; while 
his Democraties latines de rjinerique is an authoritative 
work in comprehensive form of the whole history of Latin 

I America. The latter volume makes clear the Influence 
in every country' of the local politician, the demagogue, or 
using the Spanish word, the caudillo, in stirring up the 
mob to support him as a dictator. The problems which 
fatf each country from the charac ter of its p o pulation and 
I its geographical position are graphically outlined. 


Id colonial days the mountainous re gion beyond Lake 

j Titicaca was known as .Mto Peru. As the Inca sjri2in;huld 

C uzco was also situated in Upper Peru some of the m^jst^ 

dramatic events in the history of the western continent 

• ccurrcd in th is l ocality . Not to be forgotten is the fact 

that the famous hill of P^osi, which has yielded more than 

j two billion dollars worth of silver, is now in the Bolivian 

I p rovince of that nam e . In the to wn of Potosi, which once 

held 160,000 inhabitants but now dwindled to small 

proportions as her mines have been exhausted, were heard 


the first mutterings of revolution in Peru. And in the 

provinc e of Potosi almost t he last remnant of the SpanistT 
forces in America was rounded up by General Sucre, the 
victor at the great battle of A yacucho, and compelled to 
surrend er in March, 1825. An assembly of delegates from 
Upper Peru declared the independence of the region and 
gave it the name of Bolivia in honor of the Liberator, 
Simon Bolivar, whom they named perpetual protector 
of the republic, and invited to prepare a constitution. 
Under it General Sucre was elected the first president. 
He was ousted from the presidency in two years and from 
that time till 1871 nearly ev ery president was a usurper 

who rule d by force of arms. 

The population of the country contains only about 
twelve per cent of pure white s. And they, probably on 
account of the cli matic conditions on the high tableland 
averaging above twelve thousand feet above sea level, 
have never shown much energy apart from the exploitar 
tion of the immense mineral wealth of the country. Con- 
sequently the literary produ ction of Bolivia has been 
slight wi th neither a noteworthy journalistic current ac- 
companying its s uccession of dictators nor a capital poet 
whose work commands attention. 

The romantic movement in literature, however, stim- 

ulated three contemporaries to poetic effor t, Benjamin 
Lens (1836-78), Nestor Galind o (1 830-6O, and Daniel 
Calvo (1832-80). The melanc h oly tone of Galindo's ^ 
poems published under the title of Ldgrimas had its jus- 
tification in his life, for he suffered proscription more than 
once and was finally executed by a firing party. Calvo's 
first volume is described by its title Melancolias. His 


later Rimas contains some romantic legends, of which 
./fi.i Dorset contains interesting descriptions. One of his 
best lyrical pieces is addressed to Galindo. 

Qfa younger gcneration^Roscndo Villalobos (bom i860) be en an act ive writer ccmtrilniting to the press of Lima 
where he was a member o f the Ateneo. Of his poe ms of 
whi ch he put forth seve ral volumes Tic - tac, a m i rel oj\ 
med itations caused by the ti cking of his watch in the silcnr 
night, ma kes good re ading. 

T o the modernista m ovement Bolivia gave Ricardo 
Jaim es Freyre who was associat ed with Ruben Dario. He ^Hf 
has li ved all his manho od day s in Arg entin a, ho wever, and , 
is now a professor in Tucumaja. 



The geography of Ecuador has exercised great influ- 
ence on both~its political a nd literary history. Its two ' 
chief cities with their respective provinces are absolutely 
diverse in character. Quito, the capital, is situated at an 
altitude of 9,300 feet above sea level; Guayaquil, its sea- 
port, lies a mid pestilential swamps at the mouth of^ 
tropical river directly under the equator, one of the most 
unhealthy spots on earth. Before the opening of th^ 
(railroad in 1908, the journey between the two cities re^ 
quired several days. A s Quito was connected with Bogota 
by an old trade route between the ridges of Tfre^c ordil ' 
leras, greater affinity existed naturally between t hese 
two high lying cities than betwee n the capital of Ecuador ' 
and its seaport. 

At the time of the expulsion of the Spaniards there was 
a movement under the leadership of the poet Qlmedo 
to establish the p rovince of Guayaquil as an independent 
^ republic. But Bolivar succeeded in uniting Ecuador, 
Colombia, and Venezu ela into ^. one repub lic und fcr £he 
name of Nueva Granada. When this ill-assorted union 
fell apart a t the Libe rator's death a Venezuelan general) 
Juan Josa Flores, be came president of Ecuador, and re- _ 
mained in offi c e for fifteen years. It was a partisan vic- 
tory of this president that Qlmedo sang in h is |ast {^reat .. 



poem. Wlu-n Flares fill tinm power his sucirssor at- 
tcuTptcH to cstjhlish a govrrnimtit .iltm^ lints, 
but Kcuadi)r was um conscrvativi- to pfriuit it. Under 

the leadership of Garcia Mo reno the conservative catholic 
clement won complete control and set up a clerical dic- 



Gabriel Garcia Moreno (1S21-75) first attracted at- 
tention by his jour nalistic articles and his satirical verhC- 
in the style of J uvenal. H is epistle in verse to Kabio on 
the wretched condition of his country assigns as a cause 
the irreligion of the governing party. A mystic and yet 
a man of action, Garcia Moreno summed up h^s whiTH' 
ment al attitude and political policy in the sentence, "I" 
am a Cathi)Iic and proud to be one." As leader of the 
con se r\' a tive party, he welcomed the Jesuits when they 
were expelled from Colombia and published a lengthy 
poli tical tract m two volumes, Defctisa df los Jfsuitas. 
When he became president in 1 861, he established a sort 
of theocracy of which he was the secular arm, ruling with 
.ibsolute tyranny. If his enemies in Guayaquil plotted 
revolution, he appeared so suddenly in the city with an 
armed force that they were easily crushed. On the other 
hand, to bad friars he was no less severe. For example, 
a drunken friar was ridden through Quito on the back of 
an ass, with his face turned toward the animal's tail. 
Biit severity which results in the execution of many 
creates embittered enemies" \J\ these, the most persistent 
and able was Juan Montalvo whose journalistic attacks 
finally resulted in the assassination of Garcia Moreno, 
\ n 1*^75- G.ircij Moreno, huth from the point ot view 
< ^ individual in telligcncc and of the ex tent of influence 


on the affairs of his country, was one of the most remark- 

able of Spanish Americans, and he di f Fered from all in 
the rigid character of his religious pri nciples. 

Juan Montalvo (1833 -8 9), the ardent advocate_ of 
tyrannicide, preferred his independence to all else. Though 

President Vei ntemilla, su ccessor to Garcia Mor eno, tried_ 
to buy his silence by political preferme nt, Montal vo re^ 
fused to be aught but a critic of the gov ernment. T hough 
a phristian who esteem ed the I mitation the greatest of 
books, he was actuated by the most intense hatred of 
friars and the clerg y. In literature he developed a style 
unique in America and mstmct with the best q ualities of 
the older Spanish prose. For that reason his Siete Tra- 
tados, written about 1873, is one of the most widely known 
Spanish-American books > but as a critic points out he is^ 
more admired than read, because his qualities are such as 
appeal chie fly to literary m en. 

The Siete Tratados are seven essays on the following 
topics: — nobility, beauty in the human race (women), 
reply to a pseudo-catholic sophist, genius, Bolivar and 
Washington, the banquets of the philosophers (i. e., food), 
and EI Buscapie (the prologue to an unpublished book. 
Chapters forgotten by Cervantes). Written in the manner 
of Montaigne (Montalvo said he was moved to write 
by "that pruritic egoism which made the old Gascon 
celebrated") these rambling disc ourses full of sub tle 
i rony and illustrative ane cdote prove interesting reading 
on account of th e brilli ant ideas and amusing turns of 
;thought on familiar matters. The author never neglects 
an opportunity for a thrust at a friar or a bit of religiou s 
superstition, ^o North Americans, his comparison be- 


\vicrn Washingti>n and Bolivar might be instructive. He 
finds them l>oth greater than Napoleon, because their 
work still prospers whereas his has heen destroyed. 

After 1SS2, Montalvo lived continuously in Paris. He 
attempted to found a quarterly, El Espectador^ a name 
borrowed from Addison's famous periodical, in which he 
would discourse on current events in the style of his 
TrataJos; but lack of financial success soon terminated 
its issue. He probably spent much of his time on the 
Capitulos quf se ohUaron a Crrt'antrSy published post- 
humously in Bcsancon. 

So successful was he in copying bo th the style and 
spirit of Cervantes that the book must be adjudged one of 
the vcr>' best of the numerous imitation s of Don Quixote. 
One seems to be listening again to the sage discussions of 
the doleful knight and his squire, though there is plenty 
of Montalvo's own personality in such passages as the 
following. Don Quixote is examining the treasures of a 
village church. "The first thing which offered itself to 
his eyes were some large paintings which represented the 
principal miracles of the patron of the village. ' This 
happened in the Bay of Biscay,' said the priest, indicating 
a shipwreck. 'All the passengers were saved except those 
who were drowned.' 'Weren't they all saved then.'' in- 
quired Don Quixote. 'Not a third of them, sir.' '.And 
those who perished, where are they.'*' again inquired Don 
Quixote. 'WTierever (jod may have put them. On the 
canvas are only those of the miracle.*" 

The dying hour of Montalvo is worthy of narration for 
the phase it reveals of his s trange p ersonal ity. Having 
caught a severe cold he suffered an attack of pleurisy, 


which the doctors found necessary to relieve by a surgical 
operation. He refused the administration of ether, be- 
cause "on no occasion in my life have I lost the conscious- 
ness of my acts." Though he bore the operation stoically, 
it failed to save his life. An hour before death he had 
himself dressed in his best clothes and seated in an easy 
chair, saying, — "Whenever we are going to perform a 
solemn act, or when we expect to meet a person of conse- 
quence, we dress in our best. As no act is more impor- 
tant than quitting life for death, we ought to receive her 
decently." (The feminine gender of the Spanish words 
for life and death, allowing one to speak of death as 
"her," gives the point to the sentiment.) Montalvo at 
the same time had given a silver coin to an attendant to 
buy flowers to adorn his apartment. The price of flowers 
being high in Paris in January, the man returned with 
nothing more than four pinks, which exhaled their frag- 
rance as Montalvo's spirit passed away. 

Another native of Ecu ador who attained a wide repu- 
tation outside of his own country was the poet JNuma^' 
Pompilio Llona (183 2-1907). Bom in Guayaquil, he was 
educated in Colombia and in Lima where from 1853 for 
nearly ten years he was a professor of literature at the 
college of San Carlos. He then spent several years 
in Europe. On his return he lived chiefly in Ecuador 
with periods of absence in the diplomatic service of his 
country. While he wrote many sonnets and some pa- 

^triotic pieces, his m ost popular work consisted of long 

poems with philosophical content, such as were the 

; ^fashion m Spanish" America m the sixties; for example, 

J^os Caballeros del Apocalipsisy inspired by a painting 


' which he had seen in Pa iis, Noche df Dolor en las Afon- 

.inas, religious thoughts experienced among the Apen- o^ 

nines, and most famous of all, La Odisra dt-l Jhtui, written '^ 

in |S(>4, so admired by the Argentine poet R. Obligado 
that he wrote a poem to record his feelings on reading it. 
This poem. La Odisea del .4lma, a ddressed to his mother, 
is a philosophical disco urse on life . It begins bv a refer- 
' cnce to the idyll of childhood, its response to the wonders 
tud beauties of nature, his boyish plans for an education 
m the classics. Filled with patriotic pride, strong for the 
struggle, armed with theories and ma.xims, the youth 
aspires to intellectual triumphs. When he meets reality 
I the first effect on his illusions is indifference, but as he 
• continues to mingle with human society, his ideals break 
1 on the reefs. The poem concludes by comparing life with *; 

I the combats in the Roman Coliseum in which the glad- 
iators "fell with haughty expression and in a posture ^ 
artistic and gallant." \ 
Of minor poets in Ecuador an anthology shows a decent A 
I numhefr Q f these the poetess, Dolores Veintemilla de ^V 
I (lalindo waged an unequal battle tor better consider! 
' for women in Kcuador. .Accused unjustly by a p 

he committed suicide, and the only mourner at this 
. funeral of a suicide was the Chilean poet Guillermo Blest 
, Gana, then minister to Ecuador, who attended ii 
I diplomatic dress. 

Other writers of verse were Ilonorato Vasqucz, Julio 
1 Za idumbide (i^^^), and Luis Cordero (iS^g-Hji ^l., ^sl 

' Cordcr(j's lines struck a patriotic note with something of > 

th e tone of the Argentine poet A ndrade to whom lie 
dedicated his best poem, Aplausos y Quejas. ^Zaidumbide 


vyas a lo ver of Byron's p ''^f^riif T ^"^1 tmnditpH T nr» — Though 
the philosophic strain predominated in La Eternidad de 
la Vida and the Canto a la Musica, his Soledad del Campo 
revealed true feeling for the beauties of nature. 

Juan Leon Mera (1832-99), was the literary man of 
most universal talent yet prod uced by Ecuador, poet, 
^holar, antiq uari an, novelist, excellent in all. H is first 
volume of verse, published in 185 8, showed both acquaint- 
ance with and love for the Indian traditions and lore of 

his country. The short romances and poems of this vol- 
ume, of which should be mentioned an ode to the sun from 

the top of Panecillo, a sm all moun tain on which t he 
aborigenes had a temple, were followed in 1861 by the 

long legend La Vir ^en del Sol. 

This pleasant poetic tale in verse is one of the most in- 
jterestin g of the many which Spanish Americans have 
written concerning the li fe of the Indians. The reader's 
sympathy is awakened and held by the dramatic course 
of the adventures of the lovers, while the introduction of 
verses in imitation of the native serenades or "yaravies" 
adds a strange exotic element. The story is laid in the 
time of the conquest of Ecuador. It introduces the legend 
of Uiracocha, an Inca, who had prophesied that the 
country would fall into the hands of conquerors when the 
volcano Cotopaxi should be in eruption. The maiden 
Cisa, one of the virgins dedicated to worship of the sun, 
elopes with Amaru. They live in a cabin in the woods 
but their idyll is rudely disturbed by an eruption of the 
volcano, which they believe is a sign of the wrath of the 
deity at their sin. They flee but are captured by a band 
of Indians who were searching for them. They are bound 



I to stakes and about to be exicurnl \\ lun a Spanish army 
surprise the Indians. Whin the Spaniards learn why the 
young man and maid are bound, the friar Marcos Niza 
baptizes and marries them. 

Mcra next occupied himself with various li terary an d 

j tcien tific investigations on tt)pic s mainly connected with 

i Ecuador. He wrote a history of its li teratu re J?/^Wa 

; 'historic o-crtt tea sohre la Poesia ecuatoriana, prepared an 

1 edition of the poems of the celebrat ed Mexican nun Sor 

i Juana Ine s de la Cruz, and some yea rs later elu cidated 

some ob scure points in the lif e of O lmedo, whose letters 

he ed ited. In 1879 he published a prose novel, Cumandd 

un drama entrf salvnJTT. 

Cumanda is a beautiful young woman living with an 

Indian family. A Spaniard, Carlos de Orozco, falls in 

! love with her but she is married to an old Indian chief. 

The latter dies on the night of the wedding. When his 

; tribesmen plan to sacrifice her to his departed spirit, she 

) escapes through the woods to the Spanish mission. How- 

I ever, to save Carlos, who had been taken prisoner, and to 

! avoid making the mission the object of a threatened 

• attack by the Indians, she voluntarily gives herself up to 

I the savages, who thereupon sacrifice her. Carlos and 

I Father Domingo set out to rescue Cumanda but succeed 

I only in finding her charred body. Father Domingo dis- 

j covers that the girl was his own daughter whom he siip- 

I posed killed in babyhood when his farm had been sacked 

by savages. 

The Spanish critic \'alera was much pleased by this 

I novel, to which he gave such high praise as the following: 

"Neither C«M)per n<»r Chateaubriand h.i\e Ixtter de- 


picted the life of the woods nor have felt and described 
more poetically exuberant nature still free from the power 
of civilized man." 

Other writers of prose fiction were Francisco Campos 
with his historical and fant astic legends and Carlos-ftr 
Tobar. The latter's Timoleon Coloma in the form of an 

autobiography gave interesting sketches of life in Quito. 
Other sketches he printed in volumes entitled Brochadas 
and Mas Brochades. 

|n the field of ver se Emilio Gallegos Naranjo not only 
complied a Parnaso ecuatoriano but published volumes ^ 
his own compositions, 1888. Dplores Sucre wrote a pa - 
triotic ode to her an cestor General Su creri896. Among 
the yo ung men who have written in modernista manner 
Emilio Gallegos del Campo has won the greatest praise^ 
/from critics outside of Ecuador. 

An Intellectual leader of the present day in Ecuador 
is Alejandro Andrade Coello, a s tudent of literature a^ ' 
founder in 1913, oi La Revista nacional in Quito. 



In studying Colombian lircraturc, certain geographical 
and historical facts about the country must be borne Tn 

mind. Colombia occupies the northwest corner of South 

j America adjoining the isthmus of Panama. The liist 

settlements were made on the isthmus and at Santa Marta ^ 

iiid Cartagena on the coast of the Caribbean sea. The 

j cl imate here is e xcessive ly hot and unhealthy , ^hree 

i ranges of mountains forming part of the Andes come down 

to the ocean. Between the ranges flow great rivers, the 

most important of which are the Magdalena and the 

i Cauca. Their sources lie amid lofty mountain peaks 

whose elevation above sea level frequently exceeds fifteen 

thousand feet. 

The first expedition to the interior set out from Santa 

.\Iarta in 1536, under the command of Gonzalo Jimenez de 

Quesada. Following the Magdalena he arrived at the 

site of the present city of Bogota, situated in a wide plain 

at an elevation of eight thousand five hundred feet. The 

- soil of the "sabana" of Bogota, comprising an area of 

' two thousand square miles, is very fertile. Though 

lircctly under the equator the region enjoys a mild and 

agreeable climate. On account of its general resemblance 

to the situation of the vcga of Granada, Quesada gave 

the country the name of New Granada. Being rich in 



minerals, it attracted a fairly numerous immigration from 

To reach Bogota re quired in the old days a journey of 
a t least th ree weeks, and even to-day when a portion of 
t he distance may be traversed in a steamboat on t Ke" 
Magdalena and by rail around some of its ra pids, not 
less than seven days are necessary for the trip. As a 
consequence of their geo graphical isolation, the people 
have retained many characteristics of their ancestors, with 
less change than is t he case In other Spanish-American 
communiti es. The educated cl ass having then distinction 
of ancestry as well as inherited wealth, it is natural tha t 
their literature should have aristocratic traits. Severa l 

^f the poets w ho deserve individual mention, even in so 
brief" an accou nt as the present, ha v e held the office of ^ 
{ ^resident of the repub lic. 

A s the term of this office during a large part of the 
nineteenth century was only two years, and there have 
been no less than thirty-seven revolutions in Colombia, 
many men have had an opportunity for a_brief period j^fL,. 
enjoying the honor. The great revolution against Spanish 
dominion was successful when Bolivar, in 1819, defeated 
the royal soldiers at Boyaca. But the republic which 
the Liberator formed from the countries now known as 
Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador and named Colombia 
lasted only till his death. The three parted company in 
183 1, and New Granada reassumed her colonial name. 
The political changes of 1861 guaranteed great freedom- 
of individual action to the various sections of the country, 
which was symbolized by the name United States of 
Colombia. Such turmoil resulted from the federal form 


, of government that in 18S6 a new constitution setting 
, up the unitarian type of republic was adopted; and the 
former states became departments as in the French Re- 
) public. The latest important episode in Colombian his- 
i tory was the separation of Panama, in 1903, and itl^s- 
itablishment as an independent republic. 

Among the young men oT prominence in the Republic 
of Ne w Granada, was Jose Eusebio Caro (1817-55). who 
with hi ^ friend and fellow poet, Jose Joaquin Qrtiz Xl8J4r_ 
92), founded the first purely literary journal, La Estrflla 
, Nati onal, m 1^36. Caro was also editor of the politi cal 
I j ournal £/ Crtina</tViQ. His share in political life was con- 
'siderable as he was not only a member of Congress, but 
I also held various cabinet offices. An incident that oc- 
curred in 1S44, when he occupied a position in the office 
• of the Secretary- of the Interior, illustrates the character 
'of the man. Julio Arboleda accused Caro in open con- 
gress of designs on the constitution. Caro replied that 
'Arboleda being a slave holder, it was not fitting of him 
'that he should think anybody an enemy of liberty. Ar- 
boleda retorted that Caro was a parasite of the govern- 
ment, whereat the latter instantly resigned his position, 
though he ijpeded it to support his family. 
• Character in fact is the distinguishing note of Caro's 
poems. He is the Puritan of South .American literature. 
T he severity and st ernness of his temperament seems to 
nave been inherited from his grandfather or imbibed from 
h is teach i ngs. His own father, an officer in the Spanish 
'army, threw in his lot with the colonials on account of 
his marriage to Jose's mother, but the grandfather, a 
judge in the Spanish court, refused to take part in the re- 



bellion. Being unable to leave Colombia on account of 
a chronic ailment, he suffered much persecution. With 
him the boy Jose lived during the absence of his father in 
Europe on a mission for the young republic. From his 
randfather, a learned man, the boy received also much 
his early education and the first inspiration to verse* 

His poems are an echo of his life experiences, a sort of 
diary of his m oral emotions; He records his feelings at 
his father's death in El Huerfano sobre el Cadaver. While 
the poems to "Delina" are not so very different from the 
kind of poetry that men ordinarily write to the women 
they subsequently marry, those inspired by his marriage 
and the events of his married life possess a strange orig- 
inality of conception. His Bendicion Nupcial treats the 
subject of marriage from a point of view that ought to 
delight the present day advocates of eugenics. But even 
they might balk at the poet's procedure in A su Primo- 
genito, written before the child's birth. Accused by his 
cont emporaries of obscenity in this poem, he replied that 
he would give his son the pen with which he blessed him 
before birth. Upon the occasion of the baptism of his 
second son, Caro wrote El Bautismo, a defense of Chris- 
tianity. ^No less vehement wa s he in political verse, es- 
p ecially on topics d ealing wi th liberty. ^~ 

In this regard he was ready to stand by his opinions, a 
fact which led to the one great event of his life and per^ 
haps ultimately to his death. He dared to defend in 
print and befor e the government, a man whom he be- 
_l ieved was being unjustly treated. The result^ howevgt^ 
was a sentence of imprisonment against Caro. But his 


friends succeeded in getting him DUt of the country, and 
he hved in banishment for three years in New "^'ork. 
When pohiics at home allowed his return, he set out in fine 
spirits and health, but on arriving at Santa Marta he was 

' seized by a fever and died the sudden death of the tropics. 

I T he lyrical (lua lity of Caro's poetry is cunsidcra.blc, 

' Af-liic s ame time his poems are filled witkJdi ^s, so that 
the y resemble to some ex tent brilliant declamatory ora- 

; tions . He was accustomed to use unu sual me ters and 
rh yme schemes. A fair notion of his workmanship and 
his wonh as a poet may be obtained by the following 
translation of the lines, En Boca dd Ultimo Inca, rendered 
in approximately the meter of the original with the same 
scheme of rhymes. 

TcMJay arriving on Pichincha's slope, 
The deadly cannon of the whites I flee. 
Like the sun a wanderer, like the sun aflame. 
Like the sun free. 

O Sun, my Father, hearken! Manco's throne 
Lies in the dust; Thy altar's sanctity 
Profaned; exalting thee alone I pray, 
Alone but free. 

O Sun, my Father, hearken! A slave before 
The nations of the world I'll not agree 
To bear the mark. To slay myself I come, 
To die though free. 

To-day Thou wilt perceive me, when afar 
Thou dost begin to sink into the sea, 
Singing Thy hymns on the volcano's top. 
Singing and free. 


Tomorrow though, alas! when once again 

Thy crown throughout the east will shining be, 

Its golden splendor on my tomb will fall, 

My tomb though free. _ 

Upon my tomb the condor will descend 1 

From heaven, the condor, bird of liberty, f 

And building there its nest, will hatch its young. 
Unknown and free.^ 

To his friend and co-editor, J. J. Ortiz, the poet^ 
Caro owes the publication of his collected poems. Ortiz 
i s himself reckoned among Colombia's gre at poets, but. 
his inspiration had its sources more directly in the ro- 
mantic school, and he lived a much longer life. On the 
-Other ha nd, Caro's congression al opponent, Julio ArBoleda, 
^was exactly his contemporary, as they were both bom^ 
JRJthe spring of the same year. Arboleda must be, a c- 
counted, however, the greater poet . " 
Julio Arboleda (i 8 17-1862) was desce nded from one o f 
the earliest settle rs in the bishopric of Popayan, a district 
on the headwaters of the Cauca near the border orEcuadoT 
on the old trade route between Bogota and Quito. His 
fathe r, Rafael Arboleda, was a trusted fri end of Bolivar 
and ruin ed his health on a mission for the Liberator. In 
1830, taking with him his son Julio, he went to Europe in 
search of relief. The father died within a year, but the 
son remained for eight years till he received the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts from the University of London. On his 
return to Popayan he plunged with all the ardor of youth 
into politics. Though he was one of the richest proprietors 
of the locality, he enlisted in the national guard then form- 
' Version of Alfred Coester. 


ing to put ili)wn a serious revolution against the govtrn- 
nicnt at liogota. 

His personality was attractive. 1 hrouj;li()Ut tlic cuuii- 

fry he became kno\\'n as "D o n Julio." His hraver>- won 

for him steady advancement in military rank so that at 
the end of the war, 1S42, he went home as a colonel. Then 
he married and devoted his time to his estate and to letters. 
His neighbors interrupted this manner of life hy sending 
him to the Congress, where he was conspicuous for his 

As a member of the opposi tion he published an i m- 

j p ortant pamphlet ag ainst the Jesui ts, but when in 1849 his 
; pa rty won the upper hand and electing Jose H. Lopez 
' president, proceeded to expel the order, Arboleda was un- 
J willing to follow a ll his measures. . He withdrew to his 
'. native town and began the publication of a satirical |our- 
' n al, TJ Misuforo, against the democratic and social istic 
I l iberal party. F or this he was thrown into prison. From 
j its walls he sent forth his two most noted political poems, 
' Estoy en la cared, and Al Congreso granadino. In the 
j former he lashed with bitter invective "Lopez el Tirano" 
I and his judge, Miguel Valencia, who was recklessly con- 
demning to death even women. In the latter poem he 
urged the Congress to stand firm in "the defense of the 
' people" and "restore to the Republic her ancient majesty." 
Jjaving been set free from prison by reason of money 
1 paid by his brother, .'\rbf)leda joined the revolution that 
was beginning in the province on the frontier of P.cuador. 
Badly beaten he and his companions made their way 
through P'cuador to Lima. At this time his property was 
"Sacked and the papers in his house destroyed. Among them 


was the manuscript of the long poem which is Arboleda's 
chief claim to fame as a poet, the epic history of Gonzalo 
de Oyon. After residing in Peru till the beginning of 1853, 
he set out for New York, bidding farewell to "gaya Lima" 
in a lyric outburst that contrasted his melancholy state as 
a proscribed person with the dwellers in an earthly Eden. 
This gem begins: — 

Me voy de las playas alegres, siiaves. 
Do el Rimac corriendo tranquilo murmulla; 
Do el cefiro alienta, la t6rtola arrulla, 
Do nunca ha apagado sus rayos el sol. 

The next year with a change in the government Arboleda 
returned to Bogota as a senator. It was not long before 
civil war again prevailed. Arboleda held this time a high^ 
position in the army of the constitutionalists operating 
against the dictator Melo. Success crowned their arms. 
As President of Congress Arboleda inducted into office the 
new President Mallarino. In 1856 Ospina of the con- 
servative party was elected President, but the caudillo 
Mosquera instantly started a revolt. At this period 
Arboleda was in Europe for the purpose of educating his 
children. When affairs were going badly with Ospina he 
called upon Arboleda to assist. The latter felt that duty 
claimed him and leaving Paris he reached Colombia in the 
autumn of i860. He took command at Santa Marta 
where he was promptly besieged. After a month he was 
obliged to evacuate. He transferred his troops and 
munitions of war by sea to Panama, thence he organized 
an expedition along the Cauca river to march upon 
Popayan. In this region the popularity of "Don Julio" 

CDLONiniA 281 

brought hundreds of thi- country people to his standard. 

As the govrrninent ot Ospina had legally come to an end, 

his enthusiastic followers elected Arboleda President, hut 

rhc ratihcation by the Congress required by the constitu- 

i tion was impossible, because Mosijuera had taken Bogota 

. by assault and the members had Hed. As general in chief 

I of the constitutional forces Arboleda held his own against 

the dictator for upwards of a year. In one of his battles 

he defeated and took prisoner the President of Ecuador, 

Garcia .Moreno, who had taken a part in the struggle near 

the border. But his lieutenants were less successful and 

his soldiers opposed to expeditions that would take them 

. far from home. The end came on November 12, 1862, 

j when he was killed by an assassin who lay in wait for him 

' by the wayside. 

j _Sgmcthing is added to the comprehension of Arboleda's 

I jcharacter by the perusal of extracts from a letter to an 

I En glish friend about the time of his resistance to the 

government of Lopez. "Fortune has of late smiled upon 

I me most graciously. My business has not only gone on 

j ▼ery well in general, but my hands have such a great 

quantity of excellent quinine that for many years I shall 

be able to export two thousand sacks annually. I have 

I a contract for three thousand which I am sure to deliver 

I within these twelve months. The export will cost me very 

I little because I have more than five hundred idle mules, 

, which by the exercise of taking my bales to port will gain 

I in vigor and value. . . . The quinine on my lands seems 

inexhaustible. In twenty years I shall have cut the last 

j trees and then the first will have grown again." 

• . It ^s apparent that such a man was moved to take part 


in politics not through hope of personal gain but from the 
highest' motives. The analogy between himself and the * 
Tiero of his great poem, Gonzalo de Oyon, gives it an ad de?* 

Though the author spen t the leisure moments of ten 
years upon the poem, it was left unfinished. The man- 
uscript of a large part was destroyed by the soldiers who 
sacked his house. Rewritten, another large section was lost 
during the transport of some of Arboleda's effects . As a 
result of its fragmentary state and the conditions under^ 
which it was pr oduced the w^hole lacks unity of conception 
b oth of character and action . 

The foun dation is a legend which Arboleda found in the 
local history of his native Popayan. Fleeing from the fate 
of those involved in the rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro there^ 
came to New Granada one Alvaro de Oyon. Having 
gathered a band of malcontents to the number of seventy- 
five, they planned to seize the city of Popayan, thence to 
march on Quito and Lima. The assault took place in 
1552 but with disastrous results to the conspirators. 
Alvaro was killed. 

The po€t>gave to Alvaro a bfoth^r, Gonza|07'w1i6"is-ar-fe ib, 
to his schemes as weTKasVxontrast ttrhtscharacter. rhe" 
latter is represented as coming to Popayan with the con- 
quistadores. His kind heart leads him to intercede for the 
cacique Puben about to be killed by the Spaniards so that 
he saves the Indian's life. Now Fernando, the son of the 
Adelantado, Sebastian de Benalcazar, has cast eyes upon 
the cacique's daughter, Pubenza, and forces her to marry 
him in order to save her father's life during Gonzalo's 
absence. A few years later Alvaro de Oyon in rebellion 


, against the authorities after getting auxiliaries among the 
savage trihes, inarches *)n Popay/in. Cion/alo, supposrclly 
i dead, appears at the tight and decides it in favor of the 
' royal cause. Fernando in jealousy declares Gonzalo an 
I outlaw and sets a price on his head, hut Puhenza warns him 
I in time for him to take refuge among the Indians. Once 
, more Alvaro de Oyon attacks the city and again Gonzalo 
I tadlies forth in its defense. In the ni^ht the brothers en- 
gage in single cojiihat, hut recoiinizing each f)ther they fall 
, into discussion about their respective behaviour. A truce 
1 follows. During this the unhappy lovers Gonzalo and 
Pubenza have an interview at which they are surprised by 
, Femandc\ who in mad jealous rage kills his children. In 
the form of a specter he presents himself again to Gonzalo 
) and Pubenza but disappears then forever. 
I The fragments break off here. Report has it that 
1 Arboleda intended to have Alvaro desist from his rebel- 
I lious plans at the solicitation of his mother. Of this there 
are some evidences in the poem. 

The style and language of the poem is purely Castilian 

wi th only a s light admixture of native words in certain 
j familiar scenes. The narration shows the author's ac- 
! quaintance with both the Italian poets and Byron and 
i like th e Spanish r om anticis ts h e preferred to write m a 
I vari ety of meters . 

In regard to the application of the poem to affairs in 

, Ok/lombia, the words of Miguel A. Caro ' are il luminating^ 

."Putting aside the improbability of the conversation 

j between Gonzalo and Alvaro, i t is of the high est interest 

J bffam^e it has natura l applirntinn tn the perpi tual struggU 

' Intruduction to Pon'ias de Julio .trboL'da, New ^'urk, 1S84. 


which in our Spani sh Amer ica is sustained by the broa d 
genuine patriotism which respects tradition and loves" 
national unity against those bastard ambitions whith 

proclaim liberty but demolish whatever exist s. The 
language which Arboleda put in the mouth of Alvaro 
is historically exact. It is the same as that of all those 
rebels and political dogmatists of colonial times. In their 
turn are symbolized in Gonzalo all the champions and 
martyrs of political and religious faith in our country 
and among them most of all Julio Arboleda." 

Whatever may have been the sources of Arboleda's 
inspiration, the romantic spirit that moved other Colom- 
bian poets entered the country by way of Caracas, ac^ 

cording to Rafael Porn bo^ Jjrom there came not o nly 

tjje works of Zorrilla and Espronceda but also the literary^ 
jour nals containmg the poem s ot"Abigail ~L6Zano and jr A. 
Maitin. Their most import ant eff ect was the awake ning 
of an interest in the beauties of nature, that wonderful 
scenery of Colombia, its great rivers, its magnificent 
cascades, its stupendous mountains, and its strange~?md~ 
_yaried flora. The falls of Tequendama especially became 
^ the topic of literary exercise. " 

This fall though with less volume of water dr ops four 
ti rnes the distance of Niagara, about four hund re dlnd 
eighty feet. In descending the water strikes a ledge of 
rock and rebounds, then drops in several streams. Much 
of it is turned to vapor which ascends and when gilded 
by the sunlight the iridescence may be seen in Bogota 
five leagues away. 

Among the earliest poems of Gregorio Gutierrez Gon- 

^ Introduction to Poesias de Gutierrez Gonzalez. 


zaiez (1826-72) is one written at the age of tw enty with 
the title .y/ Salto d^l Tfqufndama , That it was not con- 
! ccivcd wholly in the romant ic niot)d is shown hy a quota- 
ti«D from Andres Bello which serves as a sort of sub-title, 
I refe rring to the river Mag d alena and this faifT The great 
! master's influence becomes apain apparent in Uutierrez 
! Gonzil cz' longest and most famo us poem ^oBre el (Julttvo 
del Ma iz en Jntioquia, 1866. Written in quatrains it 
depicted in a lively and poetic style scenes of agricultural 
labor in the author's native province; and was accom- 
panied by a glossary of terms peculiar to that country. 
' The poem opens with a description of the clearing of a 
I piece of land by a gang of thirty laborers. The poet, 
^ more attentive to the landscape than they, sees many 
things which he describes to the reader; and in the four 
i sections of the poem takes him through the various tasks 

required before the final storing of the grain. 
I ][1k. poet belonged, however, wholly to the romantic 
■ type. Sent away from home to school in Bogota heT)egan~ 
writing verses at the age of eighteen. He was gifted with 
extraordinary ability in improvising, with which he used 
to amuse his schoolmates. To this fact is due perhaps the 
I pef^iar quality of his lines that made him the popular 
'poet of Colombia, and his pen name "Antioco" a house- 
hold word. Even illiterate persons knew his poems by 

In his life uxi he w as a true romantic. WTien not quite 

twenty he fell so vi(;lently in love at first sight with a 

young lady that when she passed near him he became 

I to faint that he had to be supported by his companions. 

He consulted a physician on the disorders of his heart 


and this worthy told him to go home and prepare to die. 
He went home but not before he chided in verse the beauty 
whose "barbarous scorn had opened for him the last 
dwelling," and though for her he descended to the sepul- 
cher, he would never receive "even one tear from her di- 
vine eyes." 

T he mournful tone did not long predomin ate. Soon 
_thereafreT~he married th e Julia w ho then app eared in his 
lines as the source o f the joy which filled his life. After 
ten years of matrimony in reply to the question of a 
friend why he no longer sang, he wrote those verses on his 
happiness comparing himself to the dove that in the noon- 
day heat attends silent but happy on his beloved in the 
nest; happiness, moreover, resembles the morning-glori; 
that blooms in the shade but withers in the sunlight. 

I n his mat eri al for tunes h e was not so hap^jy^^ Though 
he was bom wealthy, he became involved in the civil wan 
of i860 and 62, and his property was swept away. Aftei 
the restoration of peace he was not successful in his busi- 
ness enterprises. Besides he had eight children to support 
His discouragement was expressed all too plaintively ir 
the verses addressed to various friends and to his wife 
during his last years. T he evident sinceri ty of these poem .' 
confirms one in jthe op inion that Gutierrez Gonzale z 
wide popu larit y is due to the predominancy of that quality 
in his work. Therei n lies its fir m appeal. 

Less popular were the poems of J. J. Ortiz, and mucl 
less num erous though he liv ed to be nearl y seventy-eigh 
ye ars old. To his romanticism he joined a certain classic a^ 
finish for which reason Menendez y Pelayo reckoned om 
of his poems, Los Colonos "one of the finest jewels ^ 


American poctn,". — descriptive and ly rical at the sa me 
time." In this gem the poet represents himself on his 
horse galloping to the distant city. His imagination 
carries him hack to the time of the conqiiistadorcs who 
. first planted the cross t)ii spot to the amazement 
of the aborigines. 1 hen he invites the Muse to listen 
, to the resounding blows of the pioneers' axes as they clear 
I the forest and build their homes; to w.itch the bull breaking 
' the black soil to receive the grain brought from beyond 
the seas; to observe the other domestic animals; to con- 
sider the Spanish woman who brought with her as a re- 
minder of her homeland the seeds of the flowers whose 
beauty and fragrance now delight the senses; to admire, 
when the bell calls to prayer, the holy ardor of Christ's 
Misciples who have penetrated the most distant parts of 
the new world. 

Bu t, though the great Spanish cr itic may have admire d 
Qrtiz' dfst-riprivp ver ses, his cQimtiy^ men preferred those 
w ith the Tyrtxan note. It is related that one evening he 
nearly started a riot by the recitation of his stirring lines. 
The special object of his admiration was Bolivar. In his 
.boyhood he had seen the great man and had been a childish 
witness of the armies that fought the battle of Boyaca 
in his native province. To that battle he dedicated an 
'ode which for patriotic inspiration will bear comparison 
iwith Olmedo's verses. When at seventy years of age 
Ortiz was one of the few living contemporaries of that 
yictor>', he wrote his greatest ode Colombia y Esparia in 
Which he compares Columbus and Bolivar. If the one 
:Jiscovercd a world the other freed it from the yoke of 
' ranny. The memor>' of the champion of liberty gives 


consolation to the poet in the midst of the civil discords 
in which he Hves. 

Ortiz' influence as a man, apart from his poems, was 

^ considerable. H e opened a school in 1852 that became a" 
center for the cherishing of literature and culture. Foui 
years later he successfully promoted the establishment 
of a literary society, El Liceo Granadino. He also took 
part in the protest against the expulsion of the Jesuits.. 
that event which stirred Colombian society to its ver> 
depths in 1863. A pamphlet of his on this topic was sole 
in the unprecedented quantity of four thousand copies ir 
Bogota. Throughout his long life as a journalist anc 
educator, his own writings and the editmg of tfioSrtr- 

others , such as the poems of J. E. Ca ro and the revoKT ' 
tionary Vargas Tejada and th e compilation of schoo 
textbooks in literature kept his name ever b efore ■th( 
,B ublic. 

The year 1854 may be taken to fix the period of greates 

literary activity in Colo m j^ia. P optry did not- alnnf> rl-ain 

attention in this decade, but there were representation 
o f original dramas and an important dev elopment in thi 
publication of literary journals. The latter opened ; 
fteld for the production of novels and tales. 

Of dramas the authors most wo rthy of mention war 
the b rothers Felipe and Santi ago Perez, Jose Caiced( 
Rojas, and Jose M. Samper. Their writings, however 



were not lim ited to the theater but appeared m both"pro»- 
and verse in perio dicals or daily papers. Felipe Pere 
being interested in the early history of South Americ 
dramatized the story of Gonzalo Pizarro in five acts, am 
retold as tales the story of both Pizarros and that c 

<X)LOMBIA 289 

Atahualpa. Santiago Perez, who later became president 
if the repuhhc in 1S74, turned to European history for 
I the matter of his historical dramas Jacobo Molay and /:/ 
' Castillo de BrrkUy and his legend Lronor. Spanish hist(jr>' 
n the other hand was the inspiration o( Miguel Cervantes 
I and Celos, amor y ambicion by J. Caiccdo Rojas and of 
his historical romance Don Jlvaro. Caicedo Rojas also 
published a volume of descriptive articles of manners, 
.fpuntes de Rancheria, which met with some success. 
^ Jose Maria Samper (1828-98) devoted his attention 
I jnorc to his native country. He is perhaps Colombia's 
I «4 post prolihc writer i n many l ines of literary endeavor- 
Seven of his dram at ical pieces were produced in Bogota 
; in the years 1856 and 57. Of these the most successful 
j was Un Alcalde a la antigua y Dos Primes a la moderna, 
j a comedy of national manners. In 1858 Samper went 
to Europe in a diplomatic capacity where he remained 
five years, returning to Colombia after a visit in Lima. 
I Many years later he put into a novel, Los Claveles de 
Julia, his memories of that capital. After his return to 
Bogota he wrote a novel about every four years, beginning 
with Martin Florez, 1 866. ' jThe dramatic elem ent and 
^6 dial ogue is the strongest part of his talcs as the de- 
I scription of places and persons is prolix. To the study 
1 o f Colombian histor>^ Samper performed a real service 
I'by publis hing a series of sk et che s of notable compatriots._ 
i Toward the end of his life he made quite a sensation by 
j pub licly renouncin g his views as a fr eethinker and em - 
! br acing Catholicism. 1 he bp^ ^bich/hs, rriatlc out of ^ 
his profession, Historia de una Alma, is packed with in- 
teresting personal and social reminiscences. Samper's 



journ alistic work was perhaps the most extensive of hi s 
contemporarie s. At one t ime he carried on a periodica^ 
with the sole assistance of his talented wife, Dona Soledad 

To her we owe an interesting account of the methods 
employed by the contributors to the Mosaico, the most 
important literary journal of the golden decade of the 
fifties. Beside her husband and Caicedo Rojas, they were 
Jose Joaquin Borda (1835-78), to whose constant activity 
m promotmg literary magazines Colombia remains in d ebt) 
v Ricardo Carrasquilla (1827-8 7)/ schoolmaster and poet; 
Eugenio Diaz (1804-61), writer of realistic tales; and J. M. 
Vergara y V ergara (1831-72), lover of letters. She makes 
the very illuminating remark, "We edited the Mosaico 
to amuse ourselves without considering the public." But 
the magazine to which she contributed this article, El 
Papel Periodico Ilustrado, beginning publication in 1881, 
did take the public very much into consideration because 
it was the first illustrated periodical on an elaborate 
scale, printed in Colombia. 

In regard to Jose Maria Vergara y Vergara it has been 
said that, "whoever makes a formal study of Colombian 
lett£is__will fin d his name somehow connected with mosT 
of the publications of his epoch and will see his enthusi asm 
for stimulating and sustainin g the liter ary aspirations oT 
friends and strangers." ^ Of his own writings the most 
important is his Ilisioria de la Literatura en Nueva Granada 
desde la conquista hasta la indcpendencia, 1^^8-1820, pub- 
lished in 1867. As a compiler of poems he rendered a 
service in La Lira granadina, coleccion de poesias nacion- 
• I. Lavcrde .^maya, ApunUs sobre Bibliografia colombiana. 

COLOMBI>r ( f iqi 

airs. His own verses, though he wrote with great ease 

, and was fam ous as an im provis cr, were shght . Little 
more can he said of the tale, Olivos y Acfitunas, Todos 
son unos. 

Hot he di scovered the talen t of Eu genio DiJ/, the most 
realistic of L'olomhian novilists and writers of articles on 
Planners. Bom in 1S04, he was over forty years of age 
before he began to write^ Having been a small farmer 
he brought to his work an intimate knowledge of the 
types that he depicted. His longest tale, a real master- 
piece of characterization, was Manufla. The heroine 

] is the keeper of a small provision store through which 
pass all the interesting individuals of the towTi and where 
their affairs are thoroughly discussed. 

Vergara, on his trip to Europe, made numerous friends 

j and b rought back to JJogota authorizatton Tof'htmsetfT^ 
Jose Maria Marroquin, and Miguel Antonio Caro to form 

an Academy allied to the Spanish Academy. Marroquin 
1 was a popular schoolmaster, author ot works on Castilian 
spelling, and a poet whose verses were favorites on account 
of their humor. M. A. Caro (1843-1909), though but 
twenty -seven years of age at the time, was noted fo r his 
learning. He was the oldest son of J. E. Caro to wh ose 

famo us poem blessing his firstborn before birth we 

, have already alluded. The father, had he lived, would 

not have been disappointed in the son for he became . 

i Col ombia's most learned man and president of the re- 

jyublic. His greatest service to Colombian letters was 

I the preparation of an edition of Arboleda's poems which 

' included the inedited epic Gonzalo de Oyon. ^ ITguel 

A. Caro's oy,i\ p oems we re somewhat coldly cla smr.Tl m 


form and idea. Nevertheless two of them are well known 

and liked, La Vuelta a la Patria and A la Estatua del 

Lihertador. The latter is a presentation of the moral 
character of Bolivar, accomplished in part by incorporat- 
ing in the poem certain historical sayings of the Liberator, 
such as: — "Who knows whether I have ploughed on the 
sea and built on the wind," and, "Perhaps the curses of 
a hundred generations will fall on me, unfortunate author 
of so many ills!" Jhese sublime doubts, says the poet , 
have been expressed by the sculptor who wrought the 

great statue of the Liberator in the main square of Bogota. 

The Vuelta a la Patna expresses in sweetly melancholy^ 
fashion the idea that the sight of his old home does not 
satisfy the longings of the pilgrim because his true home 
lies beyond the term of this life. The Spanish critic 
Valera thinks that, "Everything in t his composition, in 
. which there are more sentiments a nd ideas tharf word s," 

' " — — —' w 

make i t a perfect mod e l of sentimpnta l pnptry in any 

^ language." ^ 

Referen ce has been made to Ricardo Carra squilla. H e 
was a well-beloved schoolmaster who delighted his pupils 
by jocose verses on ho mely topics . His lines on Las~^ 
Fiestas en Bogota are called "a real photograph of what 
our popular festivals are." But more important for his 
contemporaries w ere suc h tracts on t he religious question 
as Sofismas aiiti-catolicos vistos con microscopio. 

T he mention of wri tings of this rharnrtpr wo uld spprg 

to lie outside our limits, but in stu dying the history^ of 

Colombia whether literary or political, it is impossibl e 

t o ignore the r eligious question. The liberal pa 

^ J. Vale<i, Cartas americanas. 


came into power in 1849 were dominated by the theories 
of French freethinkers. Though their action in expelling 

the Jesuits was resented and they fell from power, they 
were successful in 1S61 in setting up a new constitution 
which enabled them to disestablish the Church, disfran- 
chise the clergy, and confiscate the property of the con- 
\ ents. I t is natural then ^-ibat such profound rhnngps 
emanating from radical principles should have echoes 
i n literature which is not in itself controversial. Hence 
aris ^ the signiticancc of the great amount of religiou s 

As a controversialist for the conservatives nobody was 
more active than the Manuel Maria Madiedo (1S17- 
00). whose writi ngs incl ude whole volumes on social 
science, logic and law. A very learned man and acquainted 
with the whole range of European philosophy, he devoted 
his intelligence to the defense of the Christian religion. 
Many of the poems in his volume of collected verse pub- 
lished in 1S59 preach the mission of Christ. As a poet, 
however, Madiedo is more generally known for his lines 
descriptive of the great river Magdalcna, "a picture 
taken from nature, where primitive man rules, free and 
strong, but struggling with natural forces terribly power- 
ful, beautiful, and rebellious." \Vith equal enthusiasm 
^ladiedo also depicte d his native city Cartagena and the 
oce an bLfore her walls. A series of poems with strongly 
patriotic note on Bolivar, Sucre, Ayacucho, and A merica 
likewise came from his pen. Dramas he wrote in his youth, 
and at the age of nin eteen had a trag edy, e ntitled Lucrecxa 
Roma libft-. prnduc L-d jn Hog ota. To the end ^ of hia 
long life he contributed to the press of Colombia^ 


Contrasted with Madiedo may be Rafael Nuiiez (1825- 
94), a man of action a n d yet a poet. For twenty yesLfs' 

he dominated the political situation in Colombia, being 
at times both president and dictator. As a young man 
he was the secretary of General Mosquera, the leader of 
the liberal party and dictator in 1861. From this period 
dates Nunez' poem with the title dQue sais-je?, one of the 
most skeptical bits of verse ever written. Everywhere 
the poet finds the good and the bad so inextricably mingled 
that he cannot separate them. Every object in the world ^ 
h^as its good and its evil side. Sometimes mhocence and -^ 
Candor are ma lign ity, p rude nce is d a ring, impiety pie tyl 
C In another skeptical p oem Nu nez compares himse lf withT"' 
the Dead Sea; his illusions and pleasures are the cities 
wjiich God destroyed . ^ 

From this attitude of mind Nunez traveled very fat 
before his death. Sent to England as Colombian consul 

in Liverpool, he absorbed many English ideas regarding 
the functions of government. In 1878 he became President 
of the Senate and two years later President of Colombia. 
He adapted his En glish idea s to the conditions of his 
country. His ideal seemed to be an oligarchy as set forth 
in Tiis book La Reforma politic a en Colombia, ftis mo c 
was Moses if we can trust his poem on the Hebrew law- 

^iver. At any rate, he br ought about many needed re- 
forms in Colombia laid waste by anarchy. 

it, he protected the clergy, restored them to the rights 

of which- his o wn liber al party had deprived them , and_^ 
, ordered religion to b e ta ught in the schools for the puj j;_ 
pose of inculca ting r espect for authority. The civil power 
was strengthened by his new constitut ion of 1885, for the 



term of office for thf prcsiiknt was increased to six years. 
With vice presidents of his own creation, he then held 
the position till his death. 

While Nunez' phil osop hical verses reveal him as a 
sk eptic, the poems of Diego Fallon (1^34-1 905). present 
t he ancient faith in accord w ith ni(>dern geological knowl- 
edge. There is something of the Celtic imagination, due 
undoubtedly to his parentag e, in the originality of his con- 
ceptions. Perhaps also his English education had its 
influence just as his expert attainments as a musician are 

revealed in the rhythmical beauty of his lines. At once 
the most striking and original of his poems is Las Rocas de 
Sufsca. I he poet finds himself among these gigantic 
rocks overhearing the confidences of Miocene and Pliocene 
till their chatter is interrupted by Siluria the elder. She 
at his request relates her own creation. Another poem, 
A la Luna^ depicts the beauty of the tropical moonlight on 
the slope of the Andes. The silence leads him to think 
of God, to feel that his soul is merely a prisoner of the 
flesh, while the moon reminds him of its divine mission. 
Fallon's skill in difficult and irltricate meter is displayed 
in La Palma del Desierto, in which he philosophizes about 
the barren desert and the strange power of the palm tree 
to withstand the heat of the sun and the tree's service 
to man. \\ hile the quantity of Fallon's verses is not 
great, their quality places him in the front rank of Colom- 
bian poets. 

And the main b ody of C olombia n poets with an individ- 
ual note is fairly nume r ous. Joaquin Pablo Posada 
(1 82^-80), for example, ha d an astounding facility in 
handling language, though his compositions w ere limited 


to jocose or satirical matter. Even on his deathbed he 

dictated as gay a parting letter in verse to a friend as any 
that he had ever written when begging for a little loan of 
money to tide him over a hard place. A poet who knew 
how to hit the popular taste was Jose Maria Pinzon Rico. 
His erotic tendencies appear in the poem usually given in 
anthologies El Despertar de Addn though the intention 
of the verses is praise of God. A very prolific versifier 
was Cesar Conto (1836-91). His original pieces are not 

so valuable as his translations from German and KnglishT-- 
Of the latter the most praiseworthy is perhaps Long- 
fellow's Psalm of Life. For religious intensity and force 
the lines of Mario Valenzuela, a member of the Society^eir 
Jesus, should be mentionikl. An attractive poem, Tu 
triunfaste, describes the appearance of a beautiful woman ^ 
riding on horseback, and again at a dancing party; on 
neither occasion, however, did she make an impression on 
the writer's heart: but when he saw her as a sister of 
charity ministering to the sick, he quite succumbed. 

A leader of this flight of poets, surpassing them, both 
in versatility and m technical skill, was Katael Fombtr-- 
(1833 -1912J. He began his literary career at tHe age of-~ 
twen ty by a mystification of the public in giving out"^^- 
series of verses entitled Mi Ajnor signed "Edda," which 
led readers to believe that they were perusing the erotic 
confessions of a lovesick damsel. In 1854 he was sent to 
New York as secretary of the Colombian legation where he 
remained five years. He so successfully mastered the 
English language that poems of his in English were pub*- 
lished by Bryant in the New York Evening Post. Oflii?"' 
sojourn his poems have many recollections. Las Nartc- 



amrncanas fn Broadway reveals the young man beneath 
the portico of the Saint Nicolas Hotel admiring the 
throng of passing beauties. Though he pays his com- 
pliments to t he va rious Spa nish-Ameri can types, he is be- 
w itched by t he brilhance of the New Yorkerwyes and the 
crimson of thtjc checks. But "woe to him who sees the 
; fascinating army!" Their hearts, like the swirling water 
f Niagara, are cruel, insatiable and cold. On his sen- 
sitive soul the sudden death of a young girl, Elvira Tracy, 
with whom he had been at church, made such an impression 
that his poem on her last words, " The mass is over; come, 
come, let us go home!" possesses unusual intensity o f^ 
feeling. For that reason it is a classic expression of the 

uncertaintv of human life. 
— . . f 

Of totally different character are Cuentos pintados and 
K.uentos morales, many of which are said to be known by 
heart by children. After his return to Colombia, Pombo 
was interested for several years in popular education and 
in the publication of an educational journal. Of a popular 
type also are a series of quatrains written to be sung to 
the music of the national air. El Bambuco. 

.\bout this so ng, J. M. Samper has written the follow- _ 
ing: "Nothing more national and patrjotiji thaii- this — ^ 
melody which has for authors all Colombians: it vibrates 
as the echo of millions of accents;; it lamen ts with aft " 

lamentations, it laug hs with all the l aughter of the coun- 

_try. It is the evocation of our moonlit nighl^ andL iiur — 

days of happiness. It is the compa nion that anim ates 

I our weddings, that enlivens our sentimenta l rrrp^^^"""' - 
It is the so ul of our people Jiirncd into melody^l^ 

Pombo's maturer lines belong to the elegiac type, and 


are written with gr eat depth of feeHng. A rather long 
poem, Angelina, after relating the death of a young girl 
of fifteen with emphasis on the grief of her mother and 
little brother, passes to reflections on love and grief. In 
them the poet finds symbolized the struggle between our 
higher and lower natures. In "love and grief, there is 
Christ, there is God." WTien Pombo revisited the United 
States and again stood before the falls of Niagara, he was 
stirred to write some verses in "contemplation." The 
greatness of God is the main thought with which the 
sight inspires him. When he seeks for the terror felt by 
the Cuban poet Heredia, he finds it not; for the very worst 
that Nature can do to human kind, to serve for a tomb, 
is in reality a good. On the contr ary, m an is the m onster 
who di sturbs this ear thly p^Trndisp. As Jbr the. falling 
waters, thou gh they send fort h a hym n of strength and 
life, his soul^h as no enthusiasm left to sing them beca use 
life Ts a sarcasm. 

Poets of a younger generation than Pombo, such as 
Antonio Gornez R estrepo ~(b. 1869), Diego Uribe'j fEr 
1867), loaquin Gon z alez Cam a rgo (h. TS65), nnrn r all y 
show the influence of conte mporary literature. To the 

f latt er J. Valera paid the unusual compliment of sayi pg 
that his becquerista verses pleased him even b etter th an 
those of Becquer or Heine. 

No account of Colo mbi an literature would be co 
plete without mention of a few of th^many jjemale p 

nd writers who have graced their courit^. Thfeir 

nence is partly due to the fact that in the population o: 
Colombia women greatly outnumber men,l n some tow ns' 
according to a r ecent census, i n the proportion of thre« 


men to four women, as a result of the numerous civil wars 

' which have ravaged the rcpulilic. The C hristian rcsipna- 
' don required of women in such a state of affairs is clearly 
I reflected in thei r verses. 

For the reiijjious tone of her poems expressed in fluent 

language Dona Silvcria Espinosa d e Ren don (? 1SS6), 

was one of the first to attract attention. Though she 

-. ayed witK some success the p atriotic lyric, the majorit y 

of her verses celebrate the glories of the Cross, the virtues 

4 y ; - 

■• '>f Mar)' and the joys of friendship. 

In descriptive poetry too, so far as it deals wit h the 
famous falls of the Tequendama, a woman, in Valera's 


opinion, has excelled her numerous competitors both 
gative an d for eign. Therefo re, Dona Agripina Mon tes 
'del V'alle should be acclaimed the "Muse of th e Te quen- 
dama." The superiorit} ' of her lines ar ises not alone from 
the wealth of color and the minuteness of the description 
but from the fact that at the background of the pictu re 
) the ro.-}il( r spps rh r poprc';'; hprsflf. "The depression which 
' possesses her spirit in the p resence of such a grand scene 
< makes one form a better con cepti on of its magnificence. " 
' Dona Agripina gathered poetic laurels also outside of 
J yolomma. for sh e won a gold medal for a poem offered in 
a Chilean competition in 1872. v 
JThe theme of love treated with deep emotion and sin- 
I cerit y fills the verses of Doiia Mercedes Alvarez de Florez 
(b. 1859). They render the story of her courtship and 
[ mamage to Leonidas P'lorez (1859-87), himself a poet. 
• At they were poor, their parents opposed their union. 
' After their marriage, she has given a poetic record of her 
moods. .Matrimony has chains, yes; but they are golden, 



let her kiss them. At times she is jealous of her husband 
for she knows he Hes awake at night, with thoughts which 
are not of her but of his ambition. Seek not riches, she 
urges him, let her whisperings suffice at night. \Mien he 
fell sick at the age of twenty-four, her heart cries out that 
they are too young to separate. He should struggle 
against death by drawing strength from her kisses. To 
God she prays not to "snatch from my heaven this bright 
star which thine does not need! Listen. In his delirium, 
he says that he loves me so much, that he does not wish 
to die!" 

Of Dofia Soledad Acosta de Samper (1831-1913 ), wife 

^--of J. M. Samper, mention has already been made. Her 
literary interests covered many fields though her specia lty 
.was the historical or biographical article, for which ^she 
jnherited a natural aptitude from her father, the histori an 
Joaquin Acosta. Her most original effort was the pub- 
l ication of a periodic al for wo men. La Mi ijer, which ^ - 

> peared from 1878 to 1881. 

In the matter of n ovels it h as fallen to the fortune of 
Colomb ia to send forth the mo st vridely rea d work o f ' 
fiction of any written by a Spanish American, one of t he 
very few which have been translated into French a n3 
English, the idyllic romance, Maria by Jorge Isaac s. 
Perhaps its popularity proves it to be the repres entative 
Spanish-American novel. Af any rate it presents anulT 
matched picture of home life in Colombia. Its characters 

• are true to irfe. Ttsjandg capc o cxi Gtui Lt^^^ vaitey-pf-thf 
Cauca where its author was born. 

The plot is simple. Efrain, a boy of twenty, return; 
home after an absence of several years. He finds thai 


I ' Mam. his father's ward ami rhi- playmate of his child- 
' hood, is now in the first beauty o( younj; womanhood at 
' fifteen. They fall in love. The father, not wholly op- 
posed to the match, wishes the boy to delay marriage, 
I ; first, that he may study medicine in Europe, and second, 
! because Maria has shown symptoms of epilepsy, a dis- 
t ease of which her mother died. Kfrain yields to his 
I father's desires and prepares to leave for Kurope. 
' Before his departure, however, Maria and he are be- 
' trothed. After he is gone, Maria's malady becomes 
worse and she imagines that only his return will save 
her life. Efrain is sent for, but when he reaches home 
I Maria is dead, 
i The interest lies in the incidents by which the characters 

f of the leadmg per sonages are revealed and irTthe defsits 

; of home life in the mountains of Colombia.'' What in- ^/-j 

I tensity of pa ssion is displayed over trifle^ Efrafn, for tc^X ^ j 
• example, had brought home some mountain lilies as a JyiHalf 

present to Maria, but when he notices that she has neg- 

' iected to observe her custom of placing fresh flowers in 

his room during his absence, he petulantly throws his 

intended gift out of the window. Maria, finding the 

flowers, understands and makes amends by wearing one 

of the lilies to the evening meal. It is not surprising then, 

that the same Efrain should urge his horse at the risk of 

' his own life into a stream swollen with tropical rain, as 

i he rides three leagues through the night to get a physician 

to attend Maria. 

Strange details o f real life cons tantly entertain and 
' charm the reader. Though Efrain's father is the pr{> 
' prictor of a vast estate, he is not unwilling to attend the 


wedding of a negro slave and dance with the bride. When 
Efrain visits the home of a certain white tenant, he is 
honored by being provided with the only knife and fork 
in the house, and again at his morning ablutions by the 
zealous production from its precious box of the family's 
one treasured towel. A striking episode is a jaguar hunt, 
in which Efrain's English cartridges and unerring aim 
save the life of the mountaineer Braulio. This man is 
something of a wag, for when a young visitor from the 
city makes fun of his dogs, Braulio takes revenge in an 
original manner. He sees to it that there are no bullets 
in the smarty's gun and then drives a fine buck by his 
stand in the hunt. The callow youth is mortified to miss 
so easy a shot before his friends. In Efrain's home, the 
details of the daily routine in which appear his father, his 
mother, his sister Emma, and Maria form an exquisite 
idyllic picture. To relate them all would, in the words 
of Vergara in his preface to the first edition of 1867, 
"necessitate writing another Maria." 
I Th e a uthor of this romance, Jorge Isaacs (T837-9 5) was 
the son of an English Jew domiciled in Cali in the valley 
of the Cau ca. It^vas in this region that the ci vil war of 
1862 raged with special intensity. In consequence of it 
his property gone and left an orphan, the young man 
emigrated to Bogota. In 1865 he published a volume of 
verses which received more attention after the appearance 
of Maria, iS6y. The success of the no vel was immediate. 
His reward was an appointment to a diplomatic post in-" 
Chile where his fame as a literary man assisted in prepar- 
ing for him a warm welcome. In time political changes 
at home brought about his retirement. Again in Bogota 


I he was not successful ii\ busuuss, and the l.ittcr years of 

his life were passed in great want. 
I Later novels in Colombia follow the example of Isaacs 1^ 
I urhis nationalistic tendency, thoughjew deserve m ention 
j Frutosdfmi TiVrra, published 1S96 by TomasCarrasquilla, 
1 is a fair sample of the type consisting of a series of sketches 
■f mannauj strung together on a thin plot. 

Of greater literary value is Pax by Lorenzo Marroquin 
which rct^tly created a storm of indignation because 
I certain politicians believed tluy had been caricatured. 
; At any rate the author has pillt>ried the plague of politics 
1 which besets Colombia. The personages and the inci- 
> dents of the no vel gi ve the reader an unusual insigh t into 

the character of a perplex ing country. 
I Of scholars Colombia has produced several of whom 
; she may well be proud. The most important historian 
I is Jose Nlanuel Re strepo (i 782-1 86 3) whose Hi storia de 
; l a R/volucion d e la Republica d e Colombia, orig inally pub- 
' h«hcd in 1827 a nd enlarged in i8q8. is the fascinating nar- 
j rative of a participant and eyewitness. 
I J. M-^Torres Caicedo deserves the prai se and thanks 
i of everybody interested in Spanish-American lite rature. 
I His Ensayos biogrdficos y dc Cr'itica literaria in three vol- 
umes, 1863 and 1868, was t he first attempt to treat the 
I whole field and is still inv aluable. 

1 Th e name o f Rufino Jose Cuervo (1844- 1911) is familia r 
I to many otherwise ignorant of Colombian writ ers, on 
■ account of his services to tlii^— Rf^^w^TTnttcaParuT lexico- 

graphic ItiiHTerorTne^panTsh language given to the world 

in his notes to Bello's Grammar and in his Apuntacioius 

^Uicas sobre el Lenguaje bogotano. The latter is the basi s 


of all the many studies which have, since its publication, 
been made of the changes undergone by (JastiliarPiir 
America, ihe study of th e l anguage was a gult wJT h " 
Cuervo who lived for long years in Paris a bookish recluse. 
His house was a shrine to l)e vfsited by Spanish^AiiTernraiw. 
pretending to a l ove of letters . ^~~^^ • 

To the modernista movement of recent years Colombia 
had the honor of contributing Jose Asuncion Silva(i8 5g^ 
96). Though contemporary to its i nception, Silva's in- 
venfions and experiments in rhythm were eagerly taken 
up by others who made then* widely knoAATi. At the same 

time the music of his lines, their o riginality of concep tiori,'- 
.vNtJieir intimate reflection of an artist's personality have 
made his poems worthy to rank with th e best pro ductions 
of th€ modernista school. T hrough t hem Silva ha s done ' 
hi^ part in sustaining the reputation which Colombia" 
has long enjoyed for the high quality of the poetry written 
~By her sons. ~ 



Literature in Venezuela reflects the progress of its ^ 
p eople tt)\vard a^ higher state o( culture. Duri n g the 
col onial period pe rhaps the most backward of the Spa nish 
c olonies, it sufl^ered acut ely from the Sp anish policy of 

j jpaintaining the Creoles in ignorance. Ap- \eyidcnce of 
this is the fact that there was no printing press in the 
colony until one was brought there by the revolutionist 

I Francisco Miranda in 1806 as an auxiliary weapon against 
the Spaniards. Among Miranda's two hundred foreign 
volunteers were two typesetters who printed on October 24, 
i^cy>, the first number of La Gaceta de Caracas. This was 
th e first of the m any p eriodicals tha t have since otiercd 
jhcir welcoming pages to Venezuelan writers. 

The influence of the press must not be ov erlooked in a 

gtudy of their liter ary producti on. Wit hout a public 
t>) encou rage an aut hor py the p urchase of his b ooks, 
tke only channel for the dissemination of his ideas was 

! the periodical. Though the early journals w ere al most 

L wholly politic al, the l iterary se ction soon became i mpor- 

tant. In time peri odicals devoted mainly to letters were 

In p<jint of time the earliest Venezuelan to achieve 
fame as an author wa s Andres Bello, who wrote his first 
po«;ras before; leaving the count ry on his political mi SiiiQD_ 



to England. As he never returned to the land of his birth 
but produced his most influential work in Chile, he may 
best be considered as an adopted son of that land. Bello's 
.Venezuelan poems w ere either translations or imitati ons 
ol Virgil and Horac e. 

They were written during the period of his social inter- 
course with the brothers Luis and Franciso Javier Us- 
tariz, who maintained in their house a sort of literary 
society. The literary exercises of their coterie, of Miguel 
- Jo se Sanz and Jose Luis Ramos, written in the most ftigM 
classical manlier, were slight and have been forgoffen. -*- 
t i^her Bello the Venpy.nplan nf vvidpsf rppiitntirmin 
(betters is Rafael Maria Baralt (iHtn-fn). H i«; youth ana 
his family connections having thrown him in the way of 
learning much about the history of his country, he was 
inspired to write his Historia Antigua y Moderna de Vene- 
zuela. In order to print this work he went to Paris in 
1 841 and two years later took up his residence definitely 
in Madrid. He became one of the literaPy^ lights of the 
capital, was elected a member of the Spanish Academy, 
and appointed director of the government printing office 
and editor of the official gazett e In addition to his o ther 
labors he rendered a real service to the lexicograph yof 

the Spanish language by compiling a Diccionario de Gah 
cismos, 1855. 

As a poet Baralt followed closely the classical tradit ion. 
His desire to combat the extravagances. of the romantic 
school led him often into t he archaic and the ob scure.' 
His sonnets and odes were written on such topics as Ltf 
Anunciacion, A Espana, Adios a la Patria, A Colon. 

The ode to Columbus is a masterpiece . The poet ad- 


dresses the great mariner as if trying to warn him against 
his conti'inpl.itiil joiirniy to the West. "Dost not sec 
that oce.iii, man, ami sky oppose?" 1 he results of the 
venture will he a new world tilled with such marvels as 
the river Amazon, the Andes, the condor, the wealth of 
the Incas. The King of Portugal lost his opportunity, 
hut Isahella turned her jewels into empires. As a reward 
for the navigator King Ferdinand's crown would scarcely 
he sufficient. What he will receive heside the palm of 
triumph is nothing but vile chains. His red reward will 
he the grateful esteem of the new woiKl. The artistic 
workmanship of this ode merits a permanent place in 
Spanish literature for Baralt. 
Of the same age w as Fermin Toro (1807-65). He was a 

I politician from b oyhood, gifted with notable ability as 
an orator. .At the age of twenty-five he went to London 
as sccretar>- to the legation of Venezuela. After his return, 
though employed by the government in various capacities, 
he took an active interest in furthering the cause of educa- 
tion. In 1846 he was sent to Furope as minister pleni- 
potentiary* in Great Britain, France and Spain. I' nun 
the latter he obtained a ratification of the treaty con- 

j firming the independence of Venezuela. The following 

' year there occurred a revolution which retired him to 
private life for ten years. Then he was again sent to 
negotiate treaties with Spain and Italy. 

Actively participating in the life of his time, Toro's 
literary' w ork has two diverse aspects. > lo his friend s 

I of the classical sch o ol he offered the Silva a la Zona tor- 

r ida and the conceits of Anac.'rv^^n U' i :'' hl^g ^^ Nin fa^cL- 
Anauco. For the romanticists he pointed out a new field. 


the aborigines of Venezuela, wh ose fate at the cr uel hands_ _ 
of the Spanish c onquerors he la mented in a series of frag - 
mentary elegies entitled Hecatonfonia. I i;i the romantic 
rnaRner also he wrote the tales, La Viuda de Corint o^ 

aad los Martires. The latter is a story of the un-Christian 
charity with which an unfortunate woman in London 
may be treated by a class of society that prides itself 
on being the most cultured in the world. 
„-The romantic movement of Euro p ean literature ha d its 
followers in Venezuela, where it may be considered in 
full swing at the time of the arrival in t hat country as 
Spanish minister of Jose Heriberto Garcia de Quevedg ^-- 
(1819-71). Coming with the prestige of being the col- ^ 
laborator of the Spanish poet Zorrilla as well as the author 
of poems, plays and novels of his own invention, he was^ 
warmly received in Caracas and claimed by the Venezue- 
lans as a native son. As a matter of fact he was six years 
old when he was taken by his tory father to the island 
of Puerto Rico and later to Spain where he was educated 
and continued to live. His sojourn in Venezuela lasted 
but a few months, so, whatever his influence in promoting 
the Zorrillan legend, the story of his literary labors belongs 
more properly to Castilian literature. 

On the other h and, Jose Antonio Maitin (1804-74) and 
Abigail Lozano (1823-66) were the standard bearers^of*- 
romanticism in their land and both were widely rea3 

throughout Spanish America. The former sought his 
inspiration in the luxuriance of the nature about him; 
while the latter was more popular among his countiymen 
because he wrote heroic verses full of lyric movement and 
enthusiasm for the national heroes. But Lozano is well- 


nigh forgotten now, where. is the personality of "the 
fHHt ot the Choroni," as Maitin was calleil. still lives in 
his verses redolent of the damp American forest. 

The exact date of Maitin's hirth is uncertain, Inir he 
was old enough to remember his family's flight to Cuba 
from the revolution in 181 2. He returned to Venezuela, 
however, and from 1S24 to 1S26 was an attache of the 
legation in London, where he must have come into con- 
tact with Andres Bello and Fernandez Madrid. Mis 
verses certainly show first-hand acquaintance with the 
Knglish romantic poets. Like the Lake Poets, he pre- 
ferred to spend his life in the country on his estate in the 
vale of the river Choroni. There amid the perfume of 
the tmpical flowers we may lie with him in the shade 
listening to the song of strange birds or watch the changing 
colors of the sunset. We may fish with him or read Lamar- 
tine at will. At night we may breathe the odors that dis- 
till through the brilliant moonlight. From such natural 
•bjects, Maitin, like a true romanticist, pretended to seek 
consolation from the deceit of men. His wife's death 
gave an opportunity to add sincerity of feeling to the 
romantic pose. In a Canto funebre the usual classical 
expressions receive a domestic touch when the poet refers 
to the disarranged chairs of his home, the dust that lies 
thick on the furniture, and the lady's sewing with the 
needle still in the unfinished work. 

Maitin's narrative poems also have t heir admijxrs^ 
El Mascara relates the story of a thief who gains admission 
to the home of a wealthy widow by courting her daughter. 
One night, instead of leaving the house, he hides in a 
corridor until the lady retires. Then entering her bed- 


room he demands her jewels as the price of her Hfe. The 
wily widow, however, succeeds in trapping the intruder 
and securing his arrest before he leaves the house. Another 
tale in verse, El Sereno, introduces the reader to an indi- 
vidual who has become a policeman in order to occupy 
his mind and assuage his grief at the loss of a bride taken 
from him on his wedding night. The policeman invites 
a chance stranger to see the sights of the town with him. 
They see a lover lamenting the scorn of a lady who has 
jilted him. They converse with an old beggar beneath 
the window of the hard-hearted master who had turned 
him out when incapacitated by old age. They address 
an insane woman who had lost her reason when aban- 
doned by a faithless lover. She recognizes the police- 
man's companion as her perfidious seducer. The latter 
offers his dagger to the policeman requesting him to put 
an end to his existence. Since the woman was the bride 
of his sorrow, the policeman is rendered nearly frantic 
by the stranger's act admitting his identity. But he 
restrains his impulse to comply with the request to slay. 
Instead he pardons the sinner and prays Heaven to do 

Such are the rath er bizarre legends of Maitin. Hi s 
political poems, overloaded with met aphor and hyperbole , 
were not very successful either. On the other hand the 
lyrics are still readable of the poet who sa ng, 

A las orilias del rio Choroni. 
His younger contemporary, Abigail Lozano, the virile 

poet with the feminine name, owed his rea lly great popu- 
larity to his patriotic verse s. His lines to the national 


hero, Bolivar, were adniin.i.1 ivm in Spain. I'Or a short 
titiic his talents were used by the cilitur of a political jour- 
nal, /:/ fctii-zolano, hut Lozano soim withdrew his services 
and established a literary magazine, El Album. About 
1846 he collected his verses in a volume entitled Horas df 
Martirio. The romantic pose assumed in these composi- 
tions, mainly on the theme of love, is well indicated by 
thi title. 1 hey are wordy and extravagant but attractive 
on account of a certain novelty of metaphor and a splendid 
coloring. In 1S64 he published a second volume, Otras 
floras de Martirio. These poems were written during 
B more active participation in politics, for he joined the 
opponents of Monagas and after their success held some 
political offices. 

Another importa nt member of the gro u p of Venezuelan 
r omantic poets was Jo^sc Antonio Calc afio (1S 27 97).. 
o f whom his compatrio ts were fond of say ing that he be- 
l onged to a family of n i ghtingales. He, however, was the 
poet, while his brother Eduardo was primarily an orator 
and Julio a critic and novelist. The saying arose un- 
doubtedly from the conspicuous fluidity of his lines and 
the ease with which he essayed various styles in imitation 
of Leopardi, La martinp, Hugo^ Byron and Zorrilla. His 
Silva a la Jcadcmia espaiiola was written in the strictest 
c lassical style. On t he oth er hand , t he major part o f his 
p oems are filled with ro mantic regrets and bitterness of 
heart. A Orillas del Tamaira offers a series of pictures 
taken from the memories of his childhood accompanied 
with repining at their inevitable loss. "Thus the poet runs_ 
t he gamut of the romantic emotions ; homesickness in 
La Sahoyana, the disillusion of the world in Amor e Inocen- 


cia, the torturing doubts of a jealous lover in El CipreSy 
the desire for rest from his sorrows in La Muerte. The 

. attraction of many of his poems lies in the delicacy with 
whipl>. he evokes i mages of t he V enezuela n land scape. 
In this regard should be mentioned La Maga y el Genio 
de las Selvas, La Flor del Tabaco, and especially La Hoja 
to which the saying about the nightingale might well 
apply, to judge by the following lines. The poet describes 
the place where he received the first kiss of a childhood 

Nos saludaron mirtos y palmas; 

su frente al sauce doblar mire; 

a augurar dichas a muestras almas 

canto en las ceibas el Dios-te-de. 

Hizonos toldo, fresco y sorabrio, 
con sus ramajes el cafetal; 
epitalamio nos hizo el rio: 
canto las nupcias un cardinal. 

The lyrical quality of these lines will appeal -even^fo^. 
those who mus t be told that t he ceiba is a giant tree^ ^one^ 
of the most con spicuous in the Ven ezuelan land scape, 
while the cardinal is fa mous for the brilliance of it s plu^ 
mage a nd the Dios-te-de owes its onomato-poetic n arne"t9^ 
its song. 

^^fap pnptjr pns.sihilif ies of th e countr y were being ta ught 

at this time by Juan Vice nte Gonzalez ( 1808-66) both 
by prec ept and pra ctice. He was not a versifier but~a^ 
voluminous writer on the history of his native country; 
Possessed of a remarkable intellect fertile in ideas7 hir" 
influence on his contemporaries was considerable. Beside 
his Manual de Historia universal, his most important 


hook from a national point of view was his Afcs^ntanas, 

a scries of prose clej^ies written in a florid oratorical and 

romantic style on nun who had died for their country. 

T o Gonzalez i s attributed hy Picon Fehres the initiative _ 

of a truly national literature through his propaganda in 

favo r of nationalizing it. Y^ ^ > ^ / ^ y. ^ ^ ^j ('" ^/ (^ 

The interesting personality of the man is well illustrated ^ ^ 1,^, /;r^ 
by the following anecdote. A large fat man, he was ^ j^- ( 
ridiculed for his weak feminine voice, though at the same Cr ^' 
time he was feared for his sharp tongue. Once in a public 
cafe he was approached by a certain general concerning 
whom he had written that the general had set fire to many 
towns and was the horror of the country. Facing Gon- 
zalez, the man demanded with threatening bluster: — 
"Wliy did you say that about me?" Gonzalez rose from 
his seat, "And you, who are you?" "General Fulano," 
replied the soldier. "Ah," replied Gonzalez flourishing 
his enormous cane, "I said it because it was the truth." 

Local color without s pecial effort to obtain it abound s 
i n the poems o f Jose Ramon Yepes (1822-81). He was 
the son of an old family in Maracaibo. Showing a fondness 
fpr the sea, he entered the Venezuelan navy where he 
rapidly rose in rank because he showed great braver}' in 
the factional fights in which the marine took part about 
1850. It seems strange that a seadog should write verses, 
but the man had a truly poetic faculty, and was dubbed 
by his acquaintances the "Swan of the Lake." To him 
the wind, the clouds, the color of the sea and sky mean 
more than to the ordinary- sailor. In Las Niibes he gave 
a record of the fancies with which their varying shapes 
inspired him, entirely pictorial and descriptive, and the 



only words of the poem which are subjective are the clos- 
ing lines, "I bless you, apparitions of Heaven." His 
^ fancy again ran riot in Las Orillas del Lago when he saw a 

\i' child knock at the gate of the palace of the fairies. His 

t\ experiences as a sailor he utilized in a marine ballad, Santa 
^ Rosa de Lima, relating a legend that she once appeared 

J5^ to some storm-tossed sailors who invoked her assistance 

and by casting roses on the troubled waters, rescued them. 
In La Golondrina after describing the swallow's flight he 
compared it to his owm thoughts. To poems of a philo- 
jcal turn he was fond of giving the title Niebla. The 
Wettie^t of these is one written to comfort a mother whose 
lit?te^rl had just died. The poet represented the child 
contemplating a cloud and expressing a wish to be one; 
when the mother comes, the child's wish had been ful-^ 
filled. In the homelike character of his subjects Yepes 
resembles Longfellow just as his attitude toward nature 
and the lyric swing of his lines reminds the reader of 

\> Y epes also tried his hand at descript ion of aborig inal 

v^^ life in a poem Los Hijos de Par ay aula a nd in two prosfc^ 

^ ^ , romances, Anaida and I guar ay a, in which Yepes appe ars 
"^1 — 4^ to have taken Chateaubriand for a model. The moft 
\^^^^\^successful parts are th e desc ript ions of tr opic al scenery^ 
^ N^N^ Thou gh Yepes was more artistic in his rn'niln Averse, 

o V»'\^ Domingo Ramon Hernandez (1829-93) surpassed him in 
v,^ vAj v^hj popularity wit h t heir fellow countrvmea._^His sentim eritat 
^ ^ N^s^ f melancholy voice d Venezuelan feelings in such beautifu l 
^ ^i. X^poems as his Canto de la Golondrina. I t depicts the swal- " 
N \J^ low returning after a long absence to find that the nest- 
^ ing place which had been its cradle has beei destroyed. 



Thouph it lound another fine nest and enjoyed life greatly, 
it never met with the repose and contentment of its birth- 
place. Hernandez was a poet essentially ro mantic in 
sentiment unexcelled in t rue tendern ess by any Vene- 

< zuelan. The sorrows i n which his verses abounded p lainly 

, sprang from the spectacle of human miser^i_ 

TJ)e power of eloquent speech is nowhere gr eater than" 
among Spa nish Americans. The> rhythmic flow of theii_ 
\ ^-alic language excite s in them an aesthetic em otion 

, -^ti comprehensib le to people of other races. To this psy- 
cbological peculiarity has been ascribed t he frequency of 

[revo lutions in some of th e countries, esp ecially Colombia. , 
W o^ld the fac^^s^f the fpllg^vin g anecdote be possibte^iTl 

} England or the UnTr^oStatesf It is related of Cecilio 
Acosta (1831-81) that one day after he had delivered a 
speech in praise of the fine arts before the Academia de 

j las Bellas Artes in Caracas, he was accompanied home by 
a crowd composed not only of enthusiastic students and 

I ordinary persons but also of members of the society, the 

• clergy and government officials. One of the latter, not a 
personal friend either, addressed Acosta's mother in these 

, terms: — "Sefiora, accept my most sincere congratulations 
because your son has just uttered the most eloquent 
discourse that I have ever heard." 

.^costa_was an orator and learned lawyer, a clever 

, loumalist an d a poet. Hfs poems are not nume rous, but 
he shows in the two best, La Casita blanca, and La Gota 

] dr Rocio, the same qualities that distinguished his prose. 
He was e xpert at developing an id ea by repetition, in 
throwing about a common object the most brill iant ba ck- 

ground^ of verbal im a ges. ^ His manner was distinctly 


original. The significance of it is not merely in the pow ei 
^ of persuasion which he exe rcised over his audiences but 
also in the influ ence which his writings have had on younger 
men, orators, jou rnalists an^ poets. ~^- 

Another famous orator was Eduardo Calcaiio called 
by an admirer "the prince of the artists of speechT" When 
Venezuelan minister to Spain his oratory was greatly 
praised by the press. Though author of some verses, 
such as his Balada indiana, he did not write so well as 
his brother Jose Antonio. 

Everybody lamiliar with classical Spanish plays knows 


the part played by the Andalusian gracioso. The reaHy* 
quip and s atirical comment were his stock m trade. In 
^ modem literature he is re presented by the jour nalist that \ 
jgrinds out hi s daily article more or less funny accordi ng 
to circumstances. QL this type of humor Venez uelan 
l iterature can show as many successful examples as any 
other in Spanish America. Dan iel M en doza (1823-6 7)-'- 
chose for the mouthpiece of his satire the "llanero" or 
cowboy from beyond the Orinoco who comes to Caracas 
and is amazed at the foolish expenditure of money by all 
classes in the capital. Nothing escapes his observation, 
neither the fashionable ladies nor the dandies, least of 
all the politicians. As a sample of his wit, take the fol- 

"I was saying, continued the doctor, that in that edifice 
are made our laws. — Caramba, Doctor, for such a little 
thing such an immense building!" 

Of these "costumbristas" a considerable list of names 
might be given. The value of what they have written 
is apparent to anybody in whose hands their articles have 


fallen, for in them the Wm/utlaii people live and think. 
If vou wish to know how the buyer and seller plan to 
outwit each other with the advantage on the side of the 
seller, read Francisco de Sales Pirez who flourished about 
i*^So, in the collected volume of his collected articles 
Riitos Perdidos. For amusing portraits of persons in the 
public eye, read Nicanor Bolct Peraza. Though these 
d,cscriptions of manners are mainly in prose, examples in 
verse are not lacking. For that sort of writing, Aristo- 
phanic bitterness has been ascribed to J, M. Nuiiez de 
Ca ceres. 

Pedro Jose Hernandez wrote his humorous sketches 

I of manners in verse in the form of fables, of epistles to 

' persons and of jocose sonnets. For example, one of the 
latter begins by describing a tumbledown cabin suggestive 
f the vanity of human afl^airs; but not in this lies the oc- 
cupant's sadness but in the fact that he owes a month's 
rent. Or coming along the street one beautiful Easter 

I morning, ever}'thing contributed to his joy, even the 
finding of a coin at his feet. On picking it up, alas! it 
proved to be false. 

Nicanor Bolet Peraza (1838-1906) became widely known 
through the fortunes of his political career. An opponent 
of Guzman Blanco he was obliged to live by means of 
journalistic work in the United States. As he was able 
to speak English his trenchant wit was in demand at ban- 

j quets and other public occasions, so that for a time he was 
to North Americans a representative Spanish American. 
He used to urge his fellow countrymen to strive for the 

1 blessings of peace and industry-, such as were enjoyed 
by the people of the United States. Besides his numerous 


journalistic articles both amusing and serious in character 
he wrote a play Luchas del Honor which was enthusias- 
tically received in Caracas, 

Antonio Guzman Blanco (1830-99), though he ruled 
Venezuela as a tyrant directly or through puppets for about 
twenty-five years, was a great civilizing force. He was 
able by rigorous measures to put an end to a long-standing 
anarchy in the country. He reestablished Venezuelan 
finances by the successful contraction of a loan in London 
and by rigid economies in the internal administration of 
the country. In the matter of education he wished for 
"a school in every street." Though his vanity made him 
somewhat ridiculous by reason of the many statues of 
himself which he erected, from 1872 on he brought a large 
measure of material prosperity to Venezuela. Under his 
regime literature flourished. During the seventies it was 
somewhat artificial in character, but with the introduction 
of liberal studies at the University of Caracas, and the 
teaching of the theory of evolution fostered by Guzman 
Blanco, the younger generation was able to comprehend 
and adapt the new tendencies in literature of which Zola 
and the naturalistic school were sponsors. 

In 1869 was established in Caracas the Academia de 
Ciencias sociales y de Bellas Letras which, to celebrate its 
foundation, offered a prize for an ode on La Libertad del 
Viejo Mundo. The title shows the trend which romanti- 
cism had taken under the leadership of Victor Hugo him- 
self. He developed and practiced the theory that lit- 
erature should place itself at the social service of mankind. 
Accordingly odes on abstract topics became the fashion. 
The first prize in the contest of the Academia was awarded 


'to Heraclio de la Guardia (1829-1907). Later he w.js prc- 
scntiil with .1 jiolil MKchil by thi' University <>f Caracas for 
an odo to scuncc. 1 he totahty of Ciianh.i's verses is 
large, but their tone is not so frigid as their titles would 
indicate. Like every N'enezuelan poet he could sing the 

iiities of tropical nature. 

Another winner of academic poetry was Francisco 
Guaycaypuro Pardo (1829-82) whose odes, La Gloria dd 
Libtrtadofy El Poder de la Idt-a and El Porvenir de America 
carried off" prizes in the years 1872, '75 and 'jj. But 
Pardo, though not equalling the originality of Ycpes, had 
something of the poetic feeling which distinguished the 
latter, "the swan of the lake." This is apparent in the 
^descriptions of nature in Las Indianas. With greater 
unity of substance, these poems would compare favorably 
with Longfellow's Hiawatha, by which they seem to be 

Academic poetr}' tended to an epic accent and glorifica- 
tion of America. In Venezuela, this was furthered by the 
centenary of Bolivar, celebrated in 1883 with great pomp 
by Guzman Blanco, "the Regenerator," as he styled him- 
self; in contrast with the Liberator. To this epic tendency 
were due many poems such as La Colombiada and La 
Boliviada by Felipe Tejera, though not all were so ambi- 
tious in scope. The tendency to philosophize which marks 
academic poetry took an original turn toward the end of 
the decade of the seventies, through imitation of the 
German poet Heine and his Spanish adapter Becqucr. 
Bccquerista verse was immensely popular throughout 
Spanish America. In Venezuela it was made known by 
Juan Antonio Perez Bonalde (1846-92). 



In 1877 appeared his first volume entitled Estrofas. 
These were mainly translations of Heine's poems. Besides 
them, Perez Bonalde translated Poe's Raven in a masterly 
manner. But he was not merely a translator, for in 
original work Perez Bonalde must be reckoned among 
Venezuela's greatest poets. He excelled in verse expressing 
purely human sentiments. His Vuelta a la Patria con- 
tained sublime words on a topic which appeals to the hearts 
of all Spanish Americans. In Flor, dedicated to his daugh- 
ter Flor, snatched from him by death, he rebelled against 
the cruel fate of sudden death, which threatens all human- 
ity. Perez Bonalde's fame is however mainly grounded on 
his Poema del Niagara written in 1880. 

In the opening lines the poet challenged comparison ^' 
with the " Poet of Niagara," the Cuban Heredia. We can 
do no better than to accept in this matter the judgment • 
of the Cuban orator, Jose Marti, who contributed to the 
second edition of the poem a preface beginning: "This 
man who comes with me is a grandee, though not of Spain, 
and he comes with his hat on: he is Juan Antonio Perez 
Bonalde, who has written the Poem on Niagara. And if 
you ask me more about him, curious passer-by, I will tell 
thee that he measured his strength with a giant, and did 
not come away hurt, but with his lyre on his shoulder and 
with something like an aureole of triumph on his brow. 
Do not ask more, for it is sufficient proof of greatness to 
have dared measure one's strength with giants; because 
the merit is not in the outcome of the attack, although this 
man returned in good condition from the struggle, but in 
the courage to attack." 

In the poem, after describing the smoothly flowing river 


above the falls, the poet arrives at the rush of waters upon 
the rocks, the foam, the rain of diamonds, the rising vapors. 
He demands to know where is the deity of the falls. He 
entreats \ irgil to lead him, because it is the poet's business 
to be a leader and ct)nquer time and death. As the Man- 
tiian makes no reply, the poet urges himself fonvard to 
solve the mystery. He propounds three questions to 
which Echo gives answers. "Terrible genius of the torrent, 
whither goes mortal man.'"' And Echo responds, "To the 
tomb." "Is the tomb the end? what remains?" "Noth- 
ing." "Then why the struggle? will man ever know the 
secret of Being?" "Never." Farewell, cries the poet, 
your secret is the same as the thinker's; rebellion, doubt, 
1 the agony of the heart in tears. As the poet emerges from 
behind the falls he shouts Hosanna! at the beauty of the 
light, and turning again to the rushing waters, he says you 
are like man on an enormous scale, as ignorant as he. You 
issue pure and beautiful, but like the child fall into sin. 
^'ou have your crown of iris, man has the iris of love and 
hope. In winter all is frozen about you but the torrent, 
just so man has poetry-, his constant aspirations, the ideal. 
Some day you will disappear in a grand cataclysm. I too 
with my lyre will pass away. ' 

The immediate disciple in this sort of verse was Miguel 
Sanchez Pesquera (bom 1S51). In his early poems he 
sang passionate love, but attracted by Heine's lieder, he 
wrote excellent verses of the type which draw a moral by 
means of dramatic anecdote or dramatic setting. La 
Tumba del Marino begins: — He is dead! They say on the 
ship speeding to distant Spain. Into the water with him, 
exclaims indifferently the captain. And the poet envies 


the ship wishing he might throw his dead heart into the 
waters. El ultimo Pensamiento de Weber is a poetic inter- 
pretation of a musical composition much admired by Ven- 
ezuelans. "Virgins, listen," the poet cries, and they 
hearken to a rhapsody on the transitoriness of human life. 

The theory of poetics which makes beauty the supreme 
object of art, while the personality of the artist is subor- 
dinated to the point of disappearance, sometimes called 
the Parnassian school, as exemplified in Leconte de L'IsIe 
and the French poet, J. M. Heredia, had its followers 
in Venezuela toward the end of the nineteenth century. 
Jacinto Gutierrez Coll and Manuel Fombona Palacio 
were perhaps its two closest adherents. But the spirit 
of individuality is too keenly felt by Spanish Americans to> 
be long subordinated. Moreover, the modemista move- 
ment soon changed the direction of the poetic current. 
Men like Gonzalo Picon Febres, Andres Mata, and Ga- 
briel Muiioz, who began to write in the Parnassian style 
became modernistas. 

Manuel Fombona Palacio (1857-1903), achieved a 
reputation for correctness of diction. By temperament, 
he was a classic as is evident in his odes A Andahicia and 
A la Muerte de Alfonso XII, which are read for their 
excellence of form. A later poem with its Latin title 
Hannibal ante portas is purely Parnassian, as it depicts 
the alarm of the citizens of Rome at the news of Hannibal's 
latest triumphs. 

Gabriel E. Mufioz strove to give his poems an Attic 
intonation and published them under the title Helenicas. 
One of them, El Ilimno de las Bacantes, won widespread 
popularity in Spanish America. , 


Andres Mata with similar intent nanicd his productions 
PentHicaSy suggestive ol tin cold beauty of a classic 
marhle. But some of them were written under the spell of 
the Mexican rtre-eater, Diaz Miron. Conse(iueiitly Mata 
sings his struggles and personal triumphs with manly 
Nigor. Nor is there anything cold about the little poem 
Del Pasado, in which he relates the memory of a youthful 
kiss bestowed on a barefoot maiden beside a spring. 

Manuel Pimentel Coronel (1S63-1907) wrote copious 
verses which were intended to impart a thought, as well as 
to be works of art. Los Paladiufs is a good example (jf his 
method. After describing the defeat of a lion by an eagle 
whose nest on a cliff the beast tried to rob, he urges poets 
to remember that victory awaits them in their struggles 
with titanic forces. The narrative element in his poems 
makes them interesting reading. 

Literature in \ enezuela always returns to nature for 
its inspiration. As a describer of Venezuelan landscape 
\ ictor Racamonde was eminently V^enezuelan. Even 
more a follower of Yepes in this- regard was Samuel Dario 
Maldonado. In Non serviam, he openly proclaimed him- 
self a \'enezuelan rebel in the matter of following rules of 
art. And in lines of caprici(jus length he relates in La 
Gloria his pursuit through a Venezuelan landscape of the 
nymph glor>'. En d Rio Zulia and /// Pastel are other 
charming pictures of natural beauty. His rebellion against 
classicism led him to use native words and phrases at will. 

Another poet to cultivate the criollo in his verses was 
Francisco Lazo Marti, who combined therewith a certain 
philosophical symbolism. His Silva criolla is a beautiful 
description of landscape and manners in the Orinoco basin. 


The first attempts at fiction in Venezuela were produced 
under the influence of the romantic school. The orator 
and poet, Fermin Toro, imitated the manner of Victor 
Hugo in Los Martires and La Viuda de Corinto. 

Julio Calcafio (b. 1840), of the famous family of that 
name, published in 1868 the attractive Blanca de Tor- 
restella, which has deservedly seen its third edition. As 
it treats of the period of the renaissance in Italy it may still 
be read with interest like any other historical novel. In 
other tales Julio Calcafio made his native country the 
background of the story and could write such vivid de- 
scription as this portrait of Padre Larrea, parish priest 
and colonel of revolutionary forces: — "Tall and vigorous, 
his sturdy neck revealed energy and determination in 
every movement. To see him on his mule, a palm leaf 
hat on his head, his soutane thrust into his trousers which 
in their turn were thrust into campaign boots, a sabre 
dangling from his belt which also held two double barrelled 
pistols, was the same thing as seeing the Devil with a medal 
of Christ at his neck. When the ecclesiastical authorities 
suspended him from his sacred duties, he did not complain 
but exclaimed, — 'They will erect triumphal arches for 
us yet and make me archdeacon or bishop when we win.'" 

Julio Calcafio was an active figure in the world of letters 
for many years, to which he performed an important 
service by a valuable treatise on the peculiarities of 
Venezuelan speech, El Castellano en Venezuela. 

Other writers of romantic fiction were Jose Maria 
Manrique, whose moralizing tales of impossible men and 
women were enjoyed by his readers; and Eduardo Blanco, 
an exponent of the fantastic and miraculous. His Zdrattt 


published in 1SS2, the story ol a Venezuelan bandit, was 
transitional to the realism coming into vogue. 

About 1880 the younger generation in Venezuela began 
reading Zola. At the same time the professors in the 
University of Caracas, supported by President Guzman 
Blanco, were teaching the elements of the Darwinian 
theory, Ver>' soon the conflict of the new scientific ideas 
with the old order was reflected in fiction, while a heated 
controversy raged about Zola and the naturalistic school. 

Among the first students of Zola was Tomas Michelena 
whose realistic tale Dcbora, 1884, argued the social neces- 
sity of divorce. Other tales were more psychological in 
character, as La Hebrea, which attempts to disclose the 
result of the marriage of Sara with Raul, a freethinker. 

The psychological story in the manner of Bourget was 
practiced by Jose Gil Fortoul. His autobiographical 
Julian was followed by didilio? This latter concerns 
Enrique, a precocious youth, who has heard his professor 
say that the sun is fixed in space while the earth swings 
about it; but he remembers that the parish priest in re- 
lating the stor>' of Joshua had said that the patriarch 
stopped the sun three hours in its course. The doubt 
in which this conflict of statement plunged the lad of 
fifteen made him "beat the earth, pluck handfuls of grass, 
perspire, gesticulate." Enrique is in love with Isabel, 
who is struck by lightning and he rebels against God, 
but instead of being morally ruined, he is filled with 
fresh energy to pursue his studies. A third story, Pasionesy 
attempts to reveal the mental attitude of the young men, 
during the last years of Guzman Blanco's rule. Gil I'ortoul 
had himself been imprisoned for his utterances on public 


questions. He has since become a learned man, whose 
Historia constitucional de Venezuela is an authority on the 
subject and places the author among the leading men of 
his country. This history was written with great care and 
deliberation. Begun when Gil Fortoul was in the diplo- 
matic service of Venezuela, a pension from the govern- 
ment enabled him to complete and publish it. In the 
opinion of a competent critic, R. Blanco Fombona, "it 
is the most complete, most attractive, and most worth 
reading of any general history of Venezuela." 

The sensuality of Zola is reflected in the tales of exotic 
manners by Pedro Cesar Dominici, and in the novels of 
Venezuelan life by Rafael Cabrera Malo and Arevalo 
Gonzalez. But the manners depicted in these imitation^ 
of French fiction are not racy to the soil of Venezuela like 
those described by other novelists. Somehow in Venezuela 
though a movement in literature may come from outside, 
it very soon adapts itself to the genius of the country. 

Thus in 1890 written according to naturalistic methods, 
so true to Venezuelan life and dialect that it is difficult 
for anybody not a Venezuelan to understand, was pub- 
lished Peoniay by Manuel Romero Garcia. The author 
announced as his purpose "to photograph a social condi- 
tion," namely, family life in the rural parts of Venezuela 
during Guzman Blanco's regime. The chief character, 
Carlos, who tells the story, has just graduated from the 
university as a doctor of law. Therefore he is invited 
from the city to visit an uncle on his plantation in ordei 
to assist him in settling a boundary dispute. The young 
man finds there a dreadful state of affairs. His uncle is < 
brutal tyrant who not only maltreats his servants anc 



employees but even beats his wife and children with a 
rawhide whip. The oldest daughter has a lovi- intrigue 
with a man beneath her social position who eventually 
sets tire to the house and shoots her father. The various 
incidents of the story introduce many customs of the 
countr>*. The bad moral conditions depicted arc ascribed 
by Romero Garcia to two facts, one that the laws of 
Venezuela do not admit of divorce, and the other the 
persistence of the old Roman tradition in the household 
that the father's word is law. "We have in the home," 
he says, "an odious dictatorship, a school in which slaves 
are trained for political dictatorships." 

Peonia launched the nationalistic or "criollo" movement 
in fiction. It was helped by the establishment in Caracas 
.ibout the same time of El Cojo ilustrado, a review whose 
pages were open to the publication of creole stories. The 
honor of being the first to write short stories in this new 
form of art is attributed to Luis Urbaneja Achelpohl. 
) Others who have published collections are Rafael Bolivar 
:ind Rufino Blanco Fombona. 

As some of the latter's tales were translated into French 
they have had a wide circulation. Blanco Fombona 
began his literary career by writing verses. Political 
conditions compelled him to leave Venezuela, but he was 
later \ enezuelan consul in Amsterdam. When fortune 
brought him to Paris he published sketches of travel in 
Mas alia d^ los HorizonUs and a volume of verses, Pequena 
opera lirica, 1904. In Paris he was a personal associate 
I of Ruben Dario. As a modernista poet, Blanco Fombona 
must be reckoned as the foremost representative of Vene- 
zuela in the modernista movement; while his tales and 


his criollo novel El Hombre de Hierro give him a high place 
as a writer of fiction. 

This novel is a bitter satire on social conditions in Vene- 
zuela written from the fullness of personal knowledge. 
Blanco Fombona was appointed by Cipriano Castro, 
governor of the territory of Amazonas, which in his own 
words "is as wild as in the days of the conquistadores 
and its population has the reputation of assassinating 
governors." Having defended himself against an armed 
attack, he was criminally accused and put in prison. There 
in 1905 he wrote El Hombre de Hierro. The title is the 
nickname given to Crispin Luz for his extraordinary appli- 
cation to business and fidelity to his employer. The latter 
is portrayed as the type of the unscrupulous foreigner 
exploiting the commerce of Venezuela. Crispin, how- 
ever, wins but little reward from him and after Crispin's 
death, his widow's lament consists merely of the exclama- 
tion, "Poor Crispin, always so busy!" Social life in Ven- 
ezuela, the smart and sarcastic conversation of certain 
types, the priests, the pious women, the general idleness, 
even the earthquakes and the revolutions are brilliantly 
satirized. The revolutions are shown to be often the prod- 
uct of some man's personal vanity like that of Joaquin Luz 
who appears on the family estate at the head of a band 
of men whom he has persuaded to follow him. His gaudy 
uniform contrasts with their ragged clothes while the 
absurdity of his pretensions is revealed in the harangue 
which he makes them. "Redeemers! Let us depart 
for war. Our cause demands it. Our country needs it. 
Let us abandon our homes. Let us sacrifice our lives to 
overthrow tyranny and restore law and justice. Weapons -;2n 

the enemy has. I^iki' thcni away from him. Ilun.ih 
for the revolution." The harm which such action as 
Joaquin's brings on his family is depicted in the 
of the government troops a few moments after the di- 
paaure of the "redeemers." The soldiers shoot a harm- 
less countrj'man, the cook's son, the only man left on 
the estate, as he tries to escape them by running away. 
Then they set fire to the farm buildings, shake the ripen- 
ing berries from the colfee trees, carry off the chickens, 
the kitchen utensils and "whatever else came to hand." 

\Mien President Castro fell from power, Blanco Fom- 
bona was again imprisoned by the new President Juan 
Vicente Gomez. He brought from the prison a volume 
of verses published in 191 1 as Cantos de la Prision y del 
Dfstifrro, of which he said, "Every strophe is a monu- 
ment to existence, life lived, a human cry of a man who 
has suffered." In these poems he retaliated on his jailers. 
In one of them he depicted Juan Vicente Gomez in a 
frenzy in a forest appealing in turn to the trees, the wind, 
the moss, the monkeys, and the hamadrj'ads. Their only 
answer is "Juan Vicente Gomez, Traidor!" 

Blanco Fombona has remained away from Wne/uela 
of recent years. In Paris he has busied himself with 
various literary' enterprises. His critical articles about 
Spanish-American men of letters in the Revista de America 
and other periodicals have been valuable and interesting. 
His most ambitious work has been an annotated edition 
of Bolivar's correspondence for which students will always 
owe the author a debt of gratitude. 

The most ardent advocate in Venezuela of the criollo 
in literature is Gonzalo Picon Febres (b. iS6o), who has 


ably practiced his own preaching. His first writings 
were contained in two volumes of poems, Calhididas and 
Claveles encarnados y amarillosy titles suggestive of the 
Parnassian verses they exhibit. But one long poem, 
La Batalla de las Queseras, celebrates the victory of Gen- 
eral Paez over the Spaniards. After writing some tales, 
Fidelia, Ya es Hora, Flor, with Venezuelan setting but 
inclining to imitation of Zola's methods, and a novel 
Nieve y Lodo, a picture of corrupt living among society 
people, Picon Febres published in 1899 El Sargento 

This is a criollo novel of the purest type, unexcelled 
in form and substance. Its reading is recommended to 
anybody who desires a knowledge of Venezuelan life. 
Whatever details language cannot make clear are pictured 
in the many photogravures of persons and landscapes. 

The story relates the fortunes of Felipe, an industrious 
small farmer snatched from his home to serve in the army 
of Guzman Blanco against the rebel Salazar. During 
Felipe's absence his daughter Encarnaci5n is seduced by 
the wealthy young Don Jacinto Sandoval. The jealous 
and rejected suitor Matias sets fire to the house where 
the couple are in expectation of trapping and destroying 
his rival. News of these misfortunes is brought to Felipe 
when he is convalescing from his wounds in a hospital. 
Though weak and barely able to drag himself along, 
Felipe sets out for home. On arriving he finds his build- 
ings destroyed and learns that his wife is dead. After 
praying at her grave in the village cemetery, he seeks out 
Don Jacinto Sandoval and shoots him; then terminates 
his own life by throwing himself from a clifF. 


The novel abounds in realistic pictures of Venezuelan 
life. The reader is introduced to the "pulperia" or country 
store and the men who resort there for drink and conversa- 
tion. For him are minutely drawn the details of Felipe's 
home and simple daily existence before the tragedy. His 
daughter Encamacion appears in all her finery ready for 
the ball. Felipe with the tyranny of a Venezuelan father 
forbids her to dance with anybody but Matias; with equal 
stubbornness she replies to his threats, " iieat me if you 
wish but I will not dance with Matias." The party is 
attended by young men from the city who attempt to 
lord it over the country swains till they retaliate by start- 
ing a fight which in turn is broken up by the cry that the 
recruiting officers are coming. In the army Felipe's 
sturdy reliability raises him to the rank of sergeant, 
trusted by his superior officer, General Cipriano Castro. 
He is interestingly sketched as "lazily swinging in his 
hammock but observant of details, quick to act but spar- 
ing of words, ready of purse and pistol." 

As a scholar Gonzalo Picon Febres, doctor of science 
and letters, has demonstrated in his Literatura venezolana 
en el Sigh XIX that the best and most enduring produc- 
tions of Venezuelan literature from Andres Bello's Agricul- 
tura de la Zona torrida down to the present day have their 
roots deep in the soil of Venezuela. This history, indica- 
tive of an immense amount of labor on the part of its 
author, is the first attempt at a comprehensive account 
in its chosen field; and is rendered more valuable by the 
portraits of nearly every writer mentioned. 

Another study by Picon Febres of the criollo is his 
Lilno Raro, 191 2. Though a book on the peculiarities 


of Venezuelan speech completing and rectifying Julio 
Calcaiio's El Castellano en Venezuela, Picon Febres clarified 
his explanations of most of the terms discussed by anec- 
dotes of persons. The result is a book on philology so 
readable as almost to belong to the domain of folklore. 

The criollo novel easily lends itself to satire. A notable 
instance is Todo un Pueblo, renamed Villabrava in the 
Paris edition from the nickname bestowed on Caracas 
by the author, Miguel Eduardo Pardo. The tone of this 
picture of its customs is indicated by the author's preface. 
"I abandoned literature for politics. I happened to be 
elected a member of Congress and I was stoned in the 
streets. So I packed my valise and departed. When I 
arrived in Spain my friends did not know me for I was 
thin and white — green sometimes. In Paris Gomez Car- 
rillo advised me to eat rare meat, but Bonafoux told me 
what I needed was human flesh dripping blood." 

Bitter satire of Caracas and hatred of Caesarism in Am- 
erican politics also fills Idolos Rotos b}'^ Manuel Diaz Rodri- 
guez. It is the story of Alberto Soria, a sculptor, who re- 
turns from his studies in Paris to practice his art in Vene- 
zuela. His ideals and ambitions come into harsh conflict 
with the realities of life and the people about him, just as 
the fruits of his labor, his statues in the school of fine arts 
are smashed when the building is turned into a barracks 
by the military authorities. 

Symbolical interpretation of a social condition or the 
solution of a psychological problem characterize Diaz 
Rodriguez' other works of fiction. In Sangre Patricia 
he studies Tulio Arcos, scion of a family long prominent 
in public affairs and descended from a conquistador. 


TuHo Arcos inherits only the family pride and uneasy 
temperament. He is a timid neurotic, afraid in the dark, 
' dreaming of great things and poetry. While hving in Paris 
he is married hy proxy to a young lady who unfortunately 
dies on the steamer on her way from Venezuela and is 
buried at sea. He resolves to return to America. On 
reaching the waters of the tropics he imagines that his 
bride is a siren calling to him, so he leaps overboard to 
join her. 

Diaz Rodriguez is an artist and writes the most graceful 
prose. As a critic he continues in Venezuela the tradition 
established by Luis Lopez Mendez, Cesar Zumeta and 
Pedro Emilio Coll for excellent esthetic judgment. Diaz 
Rodriguez* discussions of certain ideals of art and other 
theoretical questions collected in the volumes Confidencias 
de Psiquis and Camino de Perfecc'wyi have won unlimited 
praise from Spanish-American readers who delight in that 
form of literature. They place him with J. E. Rodo of 
Uruguay as an intellectual leader of the modemista 



Mexican literature presents great variety of form, not 
only an abundance of lyric and narrative verse but 
also numerous dramas, prose tales and novels. This 
literary activity during the nineteenth century is partly 
due to the inheritance of culture which stood on a high 
plane in Mexico during the colonial period. The numerous 
theaters built at that time even in small towns provided 
an opportunity for the productions of local dramatists. 
To them the storied past of Mexico afforded a wide field 
when the stimulus of the romantic movement turned 
minds in that direction. The history of the Aztecs, of 
the conquistadores and of the heroes of the struggle for 
independence furnished themes for all branches of litera- 
ture. On the other hand, the classical tradition main- 
tained itself in a steady outpouring of religious verse both 
in poetical renderings of scripture and in forms intended 
to combat anticlericalism. 

The character of the population has exerted as much 
influence on Mexican literature as on Mexican politics. 
The educated and ruling class of whites live marooned 
and greatly outnumbered among a rude and depraved pop- 
ulation of Indians. The latter are the laborers. Among 
them individuals sometimes rise above the common level. 
In politics there has been constant turmoil in the effort 



to adjust the claslus hctwocn the interests of the property 
owners and the lahorini; classes. Literature naturally 
has reflected the suprtniaey of the one or the other party. 

After the separation from Spain the drama was a form 
of literature much cultivated in Mexico. The Cuhan 
poet, J. M. Heredia, won his way into public notice by his 
adaptations of French plays full of tirades against tyrants. 
A native-born Mexican, Manuel Eduardo de Gorosti/.a 
(17S9-1851), who had achieved notable successes in Spain 
by his comedies, recast some of them for the Mexican 
public and made translations and adaptations of such 
plays as Lcssing's Emilia Galotti. But his literar>' career 
belongs rather to the history of Spanish literature than 
to Mexican. In his own country he played an important 
part as a politician and diplomat. Gorostiza's comedies 
based on observation of Spanish manners were not so 
well suited to please a Mexican public as the great roman- 
tic dramas in the style of Garcia Gutierrez. 

WTien the first editions of the works of the Spanish 
romantic poets and dramatists reached the book store 
of Mariano Galvan in Mexico City and fell into the hands 
of his young clerk and nephew, Ignacio Rodriguez Galvan 
(1S16-42), the seed of romanticism had crossed the seas 
and fallen where it would flourish. In 1838 was produced 
the first drama of the modem type written in Mexico, 
Rodriguez Galvan's Munoz, Visitador de Mexico. The 
scene is laid in the early colonial days during the reign 
of Philip II. The visitador, portrayed as a tyrant, woos 
Celestina, wife of Sotelo. The latter in revenge incites 
a rebellion the failure of which results in Sotelo's execu- 
tion. At the sight of his corpse Celestina dies. 


To a periodical and an annual review which his uncle 
published at this time Rodriguez Galvan contributed 
several short tales and various legends in verse. The 
tales are mainly tragic. La Hija del Oidor, for example, 
narrates the sad story of a young girl, saved from drown- 
ing by a criminal who ruins her and persuades her to elope 
with him. Surprised in the attempt he kills her. The 
legends in verse though tragic have greater artistic value. 
In one of them, Mora, a Mexican insurgent by that name 
loves Angela, the daughter of a loyalist who prefers for a 
son-in-law Pinto. Angela is married to Pinto during 
Mora's absence. When the latter returns Angela explains 
to him how she was compelled to marry Pinto; but, since 
she prefers to remain faithful to her husband, she bega 
Mora to depart. The sudden appearance on the scene 
leads to a duel in which Mora is killed. Angela dies of 

In La Vision de Moctezuma Rodriguez Galvan related 
a legend of the period preceding the conquest of Mexico. 
The taxgatherers of the Aztec monarch demand the 
tribute of a poor old woman, Nolixtli. Unable to pay, 
she and her daughter Teyolia are cruelly ill treated. But 
Moctezuma, coming on the scene, falls in love with Teyolia 
whom he orders placed in his royal barge. As it is being 
rowed across the lake, Nolixtli attempts to swim in pur- 
suit but is drowned. Her specter appears to the tyrant 
and prophesies the arrival of the Spaniards who will ter- 
minate the oppression of the people by the Aztec rulers. 

The same machinery of a vision was utilized in whai 
may be considered Rodriguez Galvan's masterpiece, Lc 
Projecia de Guatemoc. The political note which the poei 

MFXieXD 337 

SDiinilcd in some of his lyrics here became 
I his poem opens with a description of the wood of Chapiil- 
tepec where the poet is wandering. 1 he locahty reminds 
him of Guatemoc, the unfortunate hist emperor of the 
Aztecs, whom Cortes tortured by applying fire to the 
bare soles of his feet. "Come," the poet cries aloud; 
"hear me!" Ihe Aztec monarch replies by appearing 
amid terrifying phenomena. Displaying his charred feet 
with imprecations on the cruelty of the Europeans, 
Guatemoc reveals the future invasions of Mexico which 
will force their descendants to repay with blood the crimes 
of their fathers. The poet then awakes choking in a 
river of blood. 

Rodriguez Galvan's legends in verse and occasional 
lyrics brought him into public notice. The production 
of another drama. El Privado dc-l rirrey, of the same type 
as his earlier one served to clinch his reputation. Having 
long desired to travel, he managed by means of his lit- 
erary' popularity to obtain appt)intment in the diplomatic 
service to South America. He set out for his post, but 
on the way was overtaken in Havana by a fatal sickness. 
N\'hen one considers that he was then but twenty-six 
years old, it will not be surprising that his dramas are 
somewhat crude in form and suffer from the defects 
common to the romantic school. Nevertheless they 
pointed to the ideal of a drama essentially Mexican, 
drawing its inspiration from the traditions of national 
history and customs. 

This ideal was not followed by his contemporary, 
Fernando Calderon y Beltran (1^09-4^). In fact, the 
latter began writing plays even earlier in his native town 


of Zacatecas. Here he produced in 1826 Reynaldo y 
Elina, the best of many early pieces. By profession he 
was a lawyer. Thus being involved in politics, he joined 
the rebels of his state against Santa Anna and was wounded 
in the battle of Guadalupe in 1836. Banished from his 
native place for complicity in the revolt, his property 
gone, he came to Mexico. Here he wrote and produced 
his most important dramas, El Torneo and Jna Bolena 
and a comedy, A Ninguna de las tres. The latter was an 
imitation, perhaps even a parody on Breton de los Her- 
reros' Marcela a cual de las tres; but the scene of Cal- 
deron's comedy is laid in Mexico, and gives a picture of 
three silly maids who fail to please a fussy suitor. His 
dramas, on the other hand, followed rather the manner of 
Garcia Gutierrez and continued to please the Mexican 
public after Rodriguez Galvan's were out of date. Though 
Ana Bolena treated a topic so foreign to Mexico as the 
famous amour of Henry VHI of England, yet it contained 
certain commonplaces which the public liked to hear. 

Calderon was also the author of a few good lyrics and 
some narrative verse. Of the former, the most original is 
La Rosa marchita in which he compared the present state 
of his fortunes to the withered rose. Popular, however, 
was El Soldado de Libertad, an imitation in form of Es- 
pronceda's pirate song; and El Suefio del Tirana, which 
pictures the nightmare of a tyrant steeped in crimes. Of 
the narrative poems, Adela relates the sad mischance of 
a young man arrested as he was on the way to marry a 
lady of that name, and shot as an insurgent. There was 
an echo of his own misfortunes in La Vuelta del Desterrado. 
An old man returned to the site of his former home to find 

Ml X I CO 


nothing recognizable but a tree; embracing it he ixpirtJ 
from grief. I hough Caldcron's virses placi- him among 
Mexico's best poets, the popularity ami numhii of his 
plays g've him even greater fame as a dramatist. 

Ct)ntiniporaneous with the romanticists were certain 
poits who belonged to the conservative and clerical party 
in politics. The revolution which resulted in the separa- 
tion of Mexico from Spain originated with the property 
holding classes,' so that the constitution adopted in 1S24 
gave great power to them and to the church as the bul- 
wark of the state. Attacks more or less successful were 
made by the liberals on this system during the decades 
of the thirties and forties. The loss of Texas and the 
war with the United States enormously weakened the 
hold of the conservative party. In literature the party 
at this time was represented by Manuel Carpio, J. J. 
Pesado and others who strove by religious verse to con- 
tribute their little to uphold the established order. 

Manuel Carpio (1791-1860) was a physician and teacher 
of science, of a kindly and religious disposition who wrote 
himself into his verses though these are mainly biblical 
stones retold. The most sustained and famous is the La 
Cfna de Baltasar, but he also versified the stories of the 
witch of Endor, the destruction of Sodom, the Annuncia- 
tion. Even a sonnet on Adam and Eve is a mere state- 
ment of fact. Carpio's suave manner made these agree- 
able reading. Originally published in periodicals, the 
poems were collected by his friend Pesado. 

Jose Joaquin Pesado (l 801-61) was a leader politically 
as well as in a literar>' way of the conservatives, and held 
•See Chapter III. 


various cabinet offices. A rich man, he devoted much 
of his time to purely literary pursuits. His many-sided 
activities are testified to by the facts that in 1838 he 
was a member of President Bustamente's cabinet, and in 
1839 he published the first edition of his poems, which 
were received with great acclaim by his party. His frigid 
mannerisms make them hard to admire to-day. His 
verse renderings of portions of the Bible lack the feeling 
which Carpio could put into his lines. Pesado's imitations 
of classical lyrics, even those with sensual titles, and his 
so-called pictures of Mexican life are couched in such 
general terms that they leave no definite impression. His 
longest poem of religious character concerns the city of 
Jerusalem. The poet apostrophizes the city, expresses 
his regret at not having seen it, refers to its misfortunes 
under the Mohammedans and the crusaders, describes 
it as it will appear after the day of judgment, and hymn- 
ing the risen dead, depicts the celestial Jerusalem. The 
best of the ideas in this poem were borrowed from Italian 
poets, with whose works Pesado was acquainted. 

His most enduring work and one for which Mexico 
must remain indebted to Pesado is entitled Las Aztecas. 
These are translations of the poems of the Aztec monarch 
Netzahualcoyotl, who flourished before the coming of the 
Spaniards. Pesado commissioned a native Indian to 
translate them and then he put them into Castilian verse. 
Though the suspicion may be true that Pesado injected 
some of his own Christian ideas into these poems, for the 
most part commonplaces on death and the transitoriness 
of earthly affairs, yet they reveal a grave and peculiar 
individuality not completely obscured by Pesado's version. 


Abtiut 1S55, the political skies loomed dark for the 
conservatives. I he religious orders were being threatened 
in some of their cherished prerogatives by measures pro- 
posed by the hberals. To combat them Pesado founded 
La Cruz, a journal which both for its intrinsic worth as 
well as for its significance must be considered in Mexican 
hterary histor>'. Its publication was continued till the 
clerical party went down to absolute defeat before the 
promulgation of the reform constitution of 1857. 

A Catholic poet whose verses graced the pages of La 
Cruz was Alejandro Arango y Escandon (1821-83). His 
work is sufficiently characterized by the titles of his best 
odes, Invocacion a la Bondad divina and En la inmaculada 
Concepcion de Nuestra Sniora. 

In La Cruz appeared the first work of a younger mem- 
ber of the conservative party, Jose Maria Roa Barcena 
(1827-1908). He was later a supporter of the French 
inter\'ention and an office holder under Maximilian. His 
originality consisted in a utilization of Mexican history 
for poetic narratives. In this respect he was a follower of 
Rodriguez Galvan. But Roa Barcena conceived the 
idea of putting his pieces together in chronological order 
as in the volumes Ensayo de una Ilistoria anecdota de 
Mexico and Leyendas mexicanas. 

The best ideas of the latter are given in the author's 
introduction. "My legend Xochitl gives an idea of the 
destruction of the Toltec monarchy which preceded the 
others established in Anahuac. After noting the traditions 
relative to the emigration, wanderings, arrival, enslave- 
ment, and emancipation of the Aztecs and the foundation 
of Mexico, I trace some of their domestic customs in the 


Casamiento de Netzahualcoyotl and proceed to describe in 
La Princesa Papantzin the prophecies concerning the 
coming of the Europeans and the symptoms of the great 
change brought about by the Spanish conquest." 

Roa Barcena busied himself in Hterary production 
during a long life. His last volume of verses was published 
in 1895. The legendary history led him to a serious study 
of history on the one hand, while the historical anecdote 
incited him to the composition of original tales on the other 
as well as translations of Hoffmann, Dickens and Byron. 
Of his rendering of Byron's tales Menendez y Pelayo 
says: — "Seldom has Byron been so well interpreted in 
Castilian and perhaps never." The same critic said of his 
historical legends in verse: — "I consider them the best of ^ 
their kind. . . . The Princesa Papantzin has a certain 
prophetic grandeur." 

On the purely historical side Mexico is indebted to Roa 
Barcena for an excellent account of the war with the 
United States which he entitled Recuerdos de la hivasion 
norte-americana. The student of literature will be in- 
terested in his biographies of Pesado, Gorostiza and 
others. Narrative verse like his Mexican legends 
dealing with episodes in Mexican history has bulked 
large enough to form almost a special branch of Mexican 

Belonging to this ballad type of verse is the work of an 
earlier poet, Jose de Jesus Diaz (1809-46). As his poems 
long remained uncollected they were soon forgotten and 
had no influence on other writers. But they possessed a 
peculiar excellence, due to his personal knowledge of 
geographical conditions. Being a soldier in the army op- 

MIX ICO 343 

eratinp m-ar Vera Cruz and the state of Jalapa, lu- could 
place the popular traditions in their correct setting amid 
the rich vegetation of that region when narrating episodes 
of the first uprisings against the Spanish. The hest of 
these legends are La Cruz df Madfra and El Puftitf del 
Diablo. Somewhat more historical are La Ordcn relating 
the capture of Oaxaca by Morelos and El Fusilami^nto de 

Diaz' work was not without influence at least on his son, 
Juan Diaz Covarrubias (1837-59). At the early age of 
twenty he published a volume of poems, Pdginas dd Cor- 
azon, written in the manner of the Spanish poet Zorrilla 
then living in Mexico. But Diaz Covarrubias' place in 
Mexican letters is founded on his historical novel Gil 
Gomfz el Insurgents. His other essays in fiction are in- 

The protagonist of this novel was one of those remark- 
able persons unknown to their contemporaries, but famous 
to posterity. Gil Gomez, according to the author, was 
present or associated with the chief occurrences in Mexico 
between iSio and 1812. In the intervals between battles 
he managed to carr\' on an exciting love affair, so that 
his adventures offer the reader an interesting picture of 
the period. 

Diaz Covarrubias had scarcely completed his novel be- 
fore events allowed him to imitate his hero. In 1857 the 
liberal party proposed in the Mexican congress a new 
constitution to supersede that of 1824. The bitter opposi- 
tion to it by the conservatives led to an armed struggle. 
The liberals, though beaten at first, rcf)rgani/.ed under 
Benito Juarez. When the latter was planning an attack on 


Mexico City in 1859, Diaz Covarrubias joined one of the 
numerous small groups which were gathering in various 
parts of the country. His band, however, was surprised 
by the soldiers of General Marquez before it was fairly 
organized, and Diaz Covarrubias was one of sixteen 

A poet more fortunate than he was Juan Valle (1838-64) 
because he lived to see his party triumphant, and even to 
enjoy a small pension from his friends in powder. As he 
had been blind from the age of three, it is remarkable that 
he could take so active a part among fighting men. At 
any rate his fiery patriotic verse roused them to enthu- 
siasm. To those who know his misfortune, the many 
lines in his poems alluding to his blindness have a truly 
pathetic ring. Especially touching is a poem with the 
refrain, "I suffer so much." 

The political events of the decade of the sixties were 
reflected in literature, both by the presentation of the 
stirring events of the period, and in the persons and doc- 
trines of the w^riters. Mexicans term this epoch, beginning 
with the legislative proposal for a new constitution in 1857, 
"la reforma." The reforms consisted in a liberalization 
of the laws, respecting the freedom of the press and of 
speech and the secularization of church lands. By such 
means it was hoped to undermine the political power of 
the clergy. The elements favoring these changes in the 
constitution gradually grouped themselves under the 
leadership of Benito Juarez (1806-72). His pure Indian 
blood is indicative of the character of the revolution. 
After years of fighting Juarez succeeded in 1861 in ob- 
taining complete control of the government, and in bring- 

MF.XICX) 34<; 

ing about the confiscation ot iiuicli of the land held by the 
clerical corporations. 

In handhnp the business of state, however, Juarez 
played into the hands of the conservative and clerical 
party, who were intriguing for European intervention by 
making the disastrous mistake of repudiating the foreign 
debt of Mexico. To enforce its payment English, Spanish 
and French troops were landed at \ era Cruz. A body of 
French soldiers advancing into the interior were routed 
in a smart Hght with the Mexicans under General Zaragoza 
on May 5th, 1S62, an event which was long celebrated as a 
national holiday, "el cinco de mayo." 1 he government 
of Louis Napoleon retaliated by sending a more formidable 
force under Marshal Bazainc and by inducing Maximilian 
of .-Kustria to accept the throne as Emperor of Mexico. 
Juarez and his guerillas were obliged to retreat to the 
northern mountains. In 1S67, however, the French army 
was withdrawn leaving Maximilian to his fate, for without 
the I rench the Mexican imperialists were speedily de- 
feated by Juarez. Maximilian was taken prisoner and 
shot at a locality known as the Cerro de las Campanas. 
Juarez was elected president in August, 1867, and again in 

The year 1868 witnessed an important revival of letters 
in Mexico. Newspapers were established, literary soci- 
eties formed and literar}- evenings held when poems, prose, 
articles and addresses were read to enthusiastic listeners. 
Beside Juarez other men of Indian blood came into prom- 
inence, notably Ignacio Ramirez (1818-79) and Ignacio 
Manuel Altamirano (1834-93). Just as their political 
activities were directed against the land holdings of the 


clergy, their literary and philosophical doctrines were in- 
clined to extreme liberalism. Ignacio Ramirez, by his 
savage articles signed "El Nigromante," won for him- 
self a reputation as a Mexican Voltaire for he openly pro- 
fessed atheism in discussions concerning the existence of 
God. He introduced the study of modem psychology 
into Mexico. The constructive side of his criticism of life, 
a sort of stoic philosophy, he set forth in verses written 
with care and classical finish. 

With Guillermo Prieto and Altamirano he edited the 
important liberal journal El Correo de Mexico. Guillermo 
Prieto (1818-97) deserves praise for his narrative poems 
of episodes in Mexican history. Altamirano became one 
of the most important Mexican men of letters. ^ 

Bom a full-blooded Indian, Altamirano went to school 
for the first time at the age of fourteen, ignorant even of 
the Spanish language. As his father had just been ap- 
pointed alcalde of the village, the schoolmaster took a 
little more than ordinary interest in the lad in whom he 
discovered unusual intelligence. The schoolmaster en- 
couraged him to attend the Institute of Toluca, open 
according to law to free attendance by young Indians. 
Again his studiousness and capacity captivated his teachers 
who assisted him to go to Mexico City to study at the 
Colegio de San Juan Letran. Like other students he par- 
ticipated in the excitement of the politics of the day and 
enlisted in the army of Juarez. Under the orders of 
Porfirio Diaz at the attack on La Puebla he distinguished 
himself for bravery. In 1861, elected a member of con- 
gress at the age of twenty-seven, his first important 
speech was delivered against a law of general amnesty 

MEXICX) 347 

which his ficr>' and bloodthirsty iloqiicncc succeeded in 
ilcfcating. After the expulsion of the French he received 
from the public treasury- by the order of President Juarez 
the rcpaynunt of a considerable sum of money which he 
had expended during the war. With this money he es- 
tablished the Corrto de Mfxico. 

From that time Altamirano was a prominent figure in 
Mexican literature, editing various periodicals and found- 
uig or encouraging literary societies. He also conducted 

I classes as a professor of law, of history and of literature. 
His published remains consist of poems, addresses and 
talcs. His semi-historical novel, Clcmencxa La Navidad en 
; Montana, giving interesting pictures of Mexican life 
, while relating the exemplary- conduct of its hero, a Chris- 
tian priest, has reached a fifth edition. Of the many gov- 
inmcntal positions held by Altamirano the most important 
was that of consul general at Barcelona, to which he was 
appointed in 1SS9. 

Altamirano's early verses belong to the erotic type. 

i Later in life when he collected^ his fugitive pieces in a 
volume he combined four of them into a connected whole 
j with an explanation in prose that he had attempted an 
! imitation of Theocritus, in describing the different periods 
r the day in his native province of Acapulco, while the 
human beings who figure in the poems appear merely for 
the purpose of. giving animation and relief to nature, 
j Perhaps a scientific interest may have prevailed in his 
mind when he wrote La Flor del Alba and La Salida del 
Sol since he calls the many trees, plants and birds by their 
Indian names, but in Los Naranjos the orange trees in 
blossom like the rest of nature suggest love to the young 


man who invites his beloved to "leave her bath" and 
"come quickly," and in Las Amdpolas, descriptive of the 
midday heat, the lover begs the beauty "to have pity," 
but "with languid glance she replies with a smile — y 
nada mas." There is a torrid directness about these 
idyllic pictures which is characteristically Mexican. An- 
other poem, Las Abejas, contains the advice to a lovelorn 
swain to observe the bees, how they seek out humble 
flowers; like them turning away from the proud false 
beauty, he should seek the honey of love among the 
simple flowers. Altamirano's later verses were more 
purely descriptive, and in his journalistic work he was 
rather a stem censor of morals. 

But his contemporary, Manuel Maria Flores (1840-85), 
wrote erotic poetry of the most straightforward type. 
Resembling the least ideal of Alfred de Musset's work, 
he delights in the physical eff'ects of love. Kisses abound 
in his lines; he dreams that at midnight his beloved knocked 
at his door; "perhaps at the terrible contact of thy lips 
my heart would break." He published his poems under 
the apt title of Pasionarias. Of this collection the best 
is Bajo las Palmas; and the worst from a certain point of 
view, La Orgia, which seems to have been written after 
an attack of delirium tremens. Later poems as Hojas 
Secas reveal weariness of sensual excitement; and certain 
it is that after living a freethinker he died a Catholic. 
His vigorous ode, A la Patria en el 5 de mayo de 1S62, 
shows what he might have accomplished in political verse. 
Flores is said to be the most widely read of Mexican poets. 

Of the same age Jose Rosas Moreno (1838-83) preferred 
the grave and reflective kind of poetry. He came into 


notice throuph an clogy on the death of Juan Vallc. As a 
journalist he was CDnnected with various papers and also 
essayed the drama. But his special originality consisted 
in verses on domestic topics and his fables. The American 
poet, Bryant, thus translated one which pleased him. 

The Elm and the Vine 

"Uphold my feeble branches 
By thy strong arms, I pray." 
Thus to the Elm her neighbor 
The \'ine was heard to say. 
"Else, lying low and helpless, 
A wretched lot is mine, 
Crawled o'er by every reptile. 
And browsed by hungry kine." 
The Elm was moved to pity. 
Then spoke the generous tree: 
"My hapless friend, come hither, 
And find support in me." 
The kindly Elm, receiving 
The grateful Vine's embrace, 
Became, with that adornment. 
The garden's pride and grace; 
Became the chosen covert 
In which the wild-birds sing; 
Became the love of shepherds. 
And glory of the spring. 
Oh, beautiful example 
For youthful minds to heed! 
The good we do to others 
Shall never miss its meed. 
The love of those whose sorrows 
We lighten shall be ours; 
And o'er the path wc walk in 
That love shall scatter flowers. 


The skepticism which Altamirano and Ignacio Ramirez 
set forth in their prose and verse was furthered by the 
teaching at the University of Mexico. The clash between 
science and religion due to the spread of the theory of 
evolution was presented by a student of medicine, Manuel 
Acuna (1849-73), in a daring poem which made him fa- 
mous by the sensation it excited. In Ante un Cadaver 
he discussed the problem of existence. According to the 
poem science finds that everything finishes in the tomb. 
Immortality resides only in matter. The body given 
back to earth may ascend again to life as wheat or flowers; 
"for the being that dies is another being that comes into 
existence: matter, immortal as glory, never dies." 

The enthusiasm aroused by Acuiia's poems resulted in 
the founding of a literary society to encourage the writing 
of verse. It was named after the Aztec poet-king Net- 
zahualcoyotl and elected for its president Altamirano. 
To the versifiers of the society, among whom should be 
mentioned Agustin F. Cuenca (1850-84), every poem 
became the resolution of a social problem. 

Acuna won a triumph also with a play, which kept the 
stage for some time, entitled El Pasado. It dealt with an 
artist who married a girl who had been ruined by a rich 
villain. After years of residence in Paris, they return 
to Mexico where the artist attempts to introduce his wife 
into polite society. She is pursued by her former lover 
assisted by an equally villainous friend. In spite of the 
husband's efforts these men so drive the woman to despair 
that she leaves her home and commits suicide in order to 
spare her husband further disgrace and annoj'ance. 

Acuiia's own death by suicide at the early age of twenty- 


four sccnu'il to pivc the richt to those who wtrc shocked 

' hv his hold skipticisiii. Hut his hist poem explains the 

. t as due to disappointment in love. I he poiin relates 

ihc marriape of a younj; girl to another man than the one 

she loves. After years have elapsed she comes one day 

upon a tomb. The poet explains to her curious question- 

jing, "You know the dead; you know the executioner." 

\\"hile the mental attitude of a certain part of the Mexi- 

;ns was exhibited in the verses of Acufia and his friends, 

the populace found their spokesman in .Antonio Plaza 

1(1833-82). His was the bitter voice of the mob that hates 

'and curses. His skeptical sarcastic diatribes won him a 

'tcmporan,' popularity which may have solaced him for 

jthe loss of a foot injured by a cannon ball in 1S61. From 

different angles .Acuna and Plaza epitomize the ideas and 

•emotions of their epoch. 

.Another type of verse writing which assumed large 

proportions during the seventies was the production of 

' ballads dealing with various periods of revolutionary 

history-. The most assiduous producer of them was Guil- 

lermo Prieto. Several newspapers vigorously encouraged 

writing ballads so that some are found among the poems 

lof nearly ever>' writer. In 1910, as part of the festivities 

of the centenary of the Mexican revolution, the editors 

'of the series of books known as the Bibliotrca de Autores 

Mexicanos collected the best of the historical ballads and 

printed them in chronological order in two volumes with 

the title of Romancfro de la Gurrra de Independencia. 

Literar>' interest in Mexican warfare did not, however, 
confine itself to ballads but also extensively cultivated 
fiaion. The novel as a variety of literature has flourished 


in Mexico throughout the nineteenth century and when- 
ever its theme at all concerns contemporary life it offers 
many realistic details. It will be remembered that both 
Rodriguez Galvan and Pesado practiced the short story, 
but the example of Fernandez Lizardi in his Periquillo 
Sarniento had no followers before 1845. In that year 
appeared Manuel Payno's El Pistol del Diablo. The 
author was a man of some education and literary talent 
which he had strengthened by travel and acquaintance 
with European literatures. He attempted a study of 
Mexican types, customs and language very similar to 
those described in the Periquillo; and his book met with a 
popularity almost as great. 

Justo Sierra (1814-61) wrote a novel in the form of 
letters, Un Ano en el Hospital de San Ldzaro for the first 
literary journal published in Yucatan in 1841. Sierra 
desired to establish a special literature of Yucatan and 
with this end in view wrote a historical novel La Hija dei 
Judio based on an incident from the early annals of hii 
province. Don Alonso de la Cerda, justicia mayor ol 
Yucatan in 1666, having no children, adopted Maria 
the daughter of a woman who died in his house. When th( 
girl became of marriageable age, it is the duty of a pries' 
who has hitherto kept the secret to reveal the fact tha 
Maria is the child of a Jew. Her adoptive father and he 
betrothed lover are, however, unmoved in their love fo 
her. Justo Sierra was a successful and learned lawyer 
At the period known as the reform he was chosen by th 
government to draw up a code of the civil law of Mexicc 
a labor which he accomplished at the ruination of hi 

MKXlLt) 353 

His SDH by the same natnc, Justo Sierra (1S4S i(;i2) 
was a diligent and prnlihc man o( letters, a p«)et and a 
critic as well as a successful lawyer. In journalism he 
introduced the light and gracefully satiric French style 
of writing, which pleased his readers. For a long time hr 
was a prominent figure among lovers of good literature 
in Mexico. He was the author of various talcs, poems 
and b«.H)ks of travel. 

The influence of the French Romantic novelists, par- 
ticularly of the type of Alphonse Karr and Eugene Sue, 
made itself felt about the middle of the century. In imi- 
tation of the former was written Gucrra de Trcinta Anos 
by Fernando Orozco y Berra. The story depicts a soul 
once eager for love and enjoyment, but now filled with 
disillusion. It is the personal history of the author who 
died soon after its publication. His friends pointed out a 
certain beautiful young lady as the original of the scornful 
and fickle Serafina so that to her house began a veritable 
pilgrimage of the romantically inclined. 

The sentimental tale was also cultivated by Florencio 
del Castillo who gave to his heroines the most complete 
beauty of person and character, angels of sweetness, 
whose passionate love ends not in marriage but in suffering 
or grief. But the talcs have the considerable merit of 
presenting accurate pictures of life among the lower and 
middle classes of .Mexican society. 

As a study of social conditions should also be mentioned 
Ironias <U la Vida by Pantalcon Tovar (1828-76) who 
gave a certain realistic touch to his novel by introducing 
the argot of the lower classes. Tovar was also a prolific 
versifier on familiar topics. 


The historical novel can show many notable examples 
in Mexican literature though they seldom can be rightly 
called more than embellished history. After the success 
of Gil Gomez el Insurgente whose unfortunate author, 
Juan Diaz Covarrubias, was so cruelly executed, a series 
of similar novels dealing generally with contemporary 
events appeared. The story of the French invasion which 
terminated in 1867 by the execution of the Emperor 
Maximilian was given to the reading public by Juan 
Antonio Mateos in a so-called novel whose title, El Cerro 
de las Campanas, bore the same name as the locality where 
the Emperor was shot. Its publication was an event in 
Mexican literary annals on account of the extremely 
large number of copies sold. The author being an eye- > 
witness of much that he described, competent critics 
are inclined to the opinion that his book gives as accurate 
an idea of what really happened as can possibly be gleaned 
from the badly mutilated and falsified official records. 
Moreover, to the Mexican people El Cerro de las Campanas 
is the source of their knowledge of the French invasion. 
Mateos wrote other novels and even some plays without 
meeting with the same success. 

The French period was also depicted by General Vi- 
cente Riva Palacio (1832-96) in Calvario y Tabor. He 
had seen the heroism of the common soldiers under his 
command in the central part of the republic as, hungry and 
naked, with prices on their heads, they maintained a 
stubborn war against the invader, relying for support 
on captured spoils even at the very gates of the capital. 
He did not hesitate to describe so horrible a thing as the 
poisoning of a whole division of soldiers. On the other 

MFxrco 35^ 

hand, interesting descriptions of various localities on the 
southern coast and the hot land o( Michoacan afford 
agreeable reading. 1 he author was personally so popular 
that the book met with considerable success so that he was 
encouraged to tr>' his hand on a novel drawn from the 
archives of the Mexican inquisition, entitled Monja y 
CojoJa, virgrn y mdrtir. Riva Palacio was an important 
personage in the journalism of his day and known favor- 
ably as a poet. 

A more fertile novelist was Manuel Sanchez Marmol 
(1839-1912), a journalist who served with the Republican 
forces at the time of the French intervention. He early 
performed a service to Me.xican letters by rescuing from 
oblivion the verses of his fellow natives of Yucatan, es- 
pecially those of Quintana Roo and Alpuche which he 
published in 1S61 under the title of Poetas YucaUcos y 
Tabajqurnos. The titles of some of his novels are El 
Misionrro d( la Cruz, Pocahontas, a political satire, Juanita 
Sousa, the stor\' of an unfortunate love affair, and Anton 
PhcL. The last named portrays the troublous times as 
the author witnessed them in the province of Tabasco. 
Anton was the typical bright Indian boy who has at- 
tracted the attention of the village priest. The latter's 
influence, howt-vtr, fails to obtain for him the coveted 
scholarship in the seminar^'^ at Mcrida, so he is obliged 
to remain as an ordinar>' poor laborer helping to support 
his relatives. When the French come, he enters the local 
guards who on account of his intelligence make him a 
lieutenant. As a boy at school he had been annoyed by 
the childish admiration of a girl of wialthy parents. Ro- 
salba del Rugo. Now that they are both grown, he falls 


in love with her but she rejects his attentions. An aunt 
of hers, Dona Socorro Castrejon, however, conceives a 
passion for the handsome young soldier. By her he is 
induced to desert to the imperialist cause. In a battle 
that follows Anton is mortally wounded. Then the author 
drives home to the reader's mind the lesson of the man 
who has turned traitor to his country through the influence 
of a foolish love. Anton, helpless from his wounds, is 
finally despatched and his body eaten by vultures. "\Vho- 
ever has read it," says the critic Francisco Sosa, "will 
never forget how Anton Perez died." 

A thoroughgoing reconstruction of the period of the 
French intervention was attempted bj'^ Alfonso M. Mal- 
donado (b. 1849) in his novel Nobles y Plebeyos, written, 
according to the preface to his children, that they might 
form an exact idea of the years from 1862 to 1867 from 
the relation of his personal experiences. Writing years 
after the events the author lays claim to an impartiality 
of judgment acquired by long experience as a judge. 
Maldonado wrote many shorter tales and historical 

Some of these belong to that considerable body of 
Mexican literature which lies on the borderland between 
fiction and history. The tales of Manuel Dominguez 
and Rivera y Rio, for example, are fiction, while those of 
Hilarion Frias y Soto and Luis Gonzalez Obregon are 
mainly popular history. 

Of serious historical students there have been a great 
number in Mexico. Carlos M. Bustamente and Lucas 
Alaman treated the history of Mexico with a large degree 
of partisanship, but Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta (1825-94) 


was painstaking and accurate in his exhaustive erudition 
concerning; the perii)d ot Spanish control. Alfredo Cha- 
vero delved deep into the history and antiquities of the 
ahorigina! races. 

In the matter of biography the student owes a debt 
to Francisco Sosa (b. 1S48) who has also written much 
hterar>' criticism of importance. For literary history the 
only work is the unsatisfactory' and defective Ilistoria 
cr'uica dr la Litfratiira en Mexico by Francisco Pimentel. 
Victoriano Agiieros (1854-1911), during the golden period 
of the early Diaz regime, attempted to acquaint Spanish 
readers with .Mexican authors by writing articles for 
foreign periodicals. Later he performed a great service 
by printing popular editions of the best Mexican writers 
in the series entitled Biblioteca df Autores Mrxicanos. 

The death of Juarez in 1872 was followed by a period 
of political uncertainty and turmoil terminated four 
years later by the elevation of Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915) 
to the presidency. His pacification of the country gave 
opportunity to a fresh growth of literary effort, especially 
in the theater. Like the other literature of this decade 
the drama dealt mainly with Mexican history. The most 
successful and popular dramatist, who for his work was 
liubbcd "the restorer of the theater," was Jose Peon y 
Contreras (1843- 1909). 

A native of Yucatan he came to Mexico to study medi- 
cmc, but m his leisure mcjmcnts tried his hand at narrative 
verse and the prose tale as well as the drama. The com- 
plicated and tragic plots of his plays are laid during the 
colonial period. The personages speak the language of 
exalted passions and are much alike. In fact the author 


wrote too much and too swiftly for anything else to be 
the case. However, the public was charmed by the love- 
lorn maids and romantic gallants whose tragic stories 
were presented to its attention. The titles of the dramas 
are attractive: La Hija del Rey, produced in 1876, Hasta 
el Cielo, Luchas de Honra y de Amor, also of 1876; El 
Sacrificio de la Vida, Por el Joy el del Sombrero, 1878; and 
many others some of which have never been staged. 

The last named is a fair example of them all. Doiia 
Mencia loves Don Juan de Benavides but is beloved by 
Ifiigo, the son of a squire who died defending the honor 
of her father. The young men are about to depart from 
New Spain for the war in Flanders, Ifiigo because his love 
is not reciprocated, Benavides because he has learned an ^ 
impediment preventing his marriage to Dona Mencia. 
Higo discovers the identity of his more fortunate rival 
by recognizing the "jewel of his hat." Dona Mencia's 
father, after Benavides had taken his farewell, finds out 
that a man has entered his daughter's apartment by means 
of the balcony. Jealous of her honor and his own he 
reproves her and decides to kill both her and himself. 
At that moment Ifiigo who has overheard the angry words 
enters from an adjoining room and begs to be slain as the 
guilty person. The old man reproaches him bitterly, but 
refuses to comply on account of the lad's father. "Go, 
both of you, the altar awaits you." Doiia Mencia makes 
no objection, partly because the young man has saved 
her from disgrace, partly because she thinks Benavides 
has left her forever. After the wedding ceremony while 
Doiia Mencia still wears her wedding gown, Benavides 
reappears, having obtained a dispensation from the Pope, 

MEXICO ^qc) 

and demands Dona Mcncia's hand from lur father. A 
{•lance, however, reveals to him the true state of affairs. 
It is now Inipo's turn to depart. On taking leave of his 
wife he hegs her to cherish her honor. Henavides seeks a 
rendezvous with the young woman which she. after a 
stmg^le between duty and love, refuses. Again Benavides 
climbs over the balcony into her rt>om. Itiigo had seen 
him and pursuing him engages him in a duel. 1 he father 
also enters and kills Ifiigo before he recognizes his antago- 
nist. .As Inigo lies dead his nobility of conduct appears 
in sharp contrast with the behavior of Benavides. The 
latter is ignominiously kicked out of the house. 

As a narrative poet, Peon y Contreras preferred the 
same types as appear in his dramas. His earliest romances 
related episodes and traditions from the histor>' of the 
.\ztec people and portrayed their heroes and customs. 
In his Romances Dramdticos (1880) the poems are original 
in form, with few details, rapid movement and clear-cut 
characters. Their themes are love and jealousy, virtue 
and its struggle against vice, tjempests of the soul arising 
from outraged honor. Dona Brenda, for example, kills 
her husband through mistaken jealousy. Sancho Bfrmu- 
dn de Astoria kills his wife in the garden of their house 
with her lover and then goes calmly to bed. Gil spends 
his time away from home. His wife begs him not go to- 
night because this will be her last one on earth. He replies 
mockingly that he has heard that story before. On his 
way to the evening's pleasure he sees a bridal party leav- 
ing the church. Reminded thus of his own marriage vows 
he hurries home only to discover his wife's dead body. 
About to kill himself in remorse, his attention is attracted 


by the wail of the infant in the cradle. For its sake he 
resolves to live. Not less dramatic are the poems about 
Columbus and the incidents of his career in Trovas Colom- 
hinas, 1881. Somewhat longer, but similar to his earlier 
ballads, are his Pequenos Dramas, 1887. 

The "restoration" of the theater by Peon y Contreras 
brought about public interest in the dramas of Alfredo 
Chavero (i 841-1906). He was a student and professor 
of history whose researches in Mexican antiquities and 
history are embodied in several volumes. The romantic 
character of the pre-Spanish period he endeavored to pre- 
sent in dramatic form. Quetzalcoatl, produced March 24, 
1878, enacts the legendary story of that monarch. He 
is a king from the East who has substituted the cross 
for the worship of the aboriginal deities. After a series of 
misadventures in which he is worsted by his neighbors, 
he appears to his people as they are assembled to elect 
a king in his stead. To them he prophesies the coming 
of the Spaniards beneath the banner of the cross. Another 
drama, Xochitl, is laid at the time of Cortes' invasion. 
Gonzalo Alaminos, the conquistador's youthful attendant, 
is brought a wounded prisoner to the Aztec temple where 
the maiden Xochitl is serv^ing. As she nurses him back 
to health ardent love springs up between them. WTien 
the city is captured by Cortes, the lovers are separated. 
Xochitl is sent as a present to Marina's sister. Now 
Marina, being the mistress of Cortes, sends for her sister 
to come to Mexico. On the journey thither, the sister 
dies, but her attendants, fearful for their lives, resolve 
to substitute Xochitl. The deception succeeds. Taken 
into Cortes' household, that amorous warrior falls in love 


: with lur ami decides to rid liimstif of the querulous Marina 

I by sendiiii: lu-r away. Me orders Gonzalo to accompany 

her. Hut the youth had already arranged an elopement 

with XtHrhitl. She. however, fails to keep the apjiointment 

jn account of a riot in the city. In this disturbance 

Gonzalo is killed. In her distress Xochitl relates her 

story to Marina and reveals even to Cortes the love that 

I had existed between herself and Gonzalo. Marina hands 

; the unhappy girl a dagger with which she stabs herself. 

Dying she discloses her identity as the last survivor of 

the royal house, sister of Cuauhtemoc. Cortes in his 

^ grief over Gonzalo and Xochitl persists in his determina- 

i tion to send away Marina. 

Verse writing in the early eighties is represented by 
I Juan de Dios Peza (1852-1910). Apparently he strove 
. to be a sort of Mexican Longfellow, \er\' prolific, all 
j torts of exercises in verse on all manner of topics appear 
I in his volumes, published from 1874 to the Cantos dd 
' Hogar, 1890. Continuing the school of Rosas Moreno 
I his most successful poems belong to the domestic and di- 
j dactic tj-pe. Perhaps of this sort nothing in Mexican 
! verse or even in the Spanish language equals his lines 
I that deal with children, for example, the description in 
j FusiUs y AfuiUcoj of the poet's children, Juan and Margot, 
I playing, the hoy with his gun of tin and the girl with her 
( doll. But Peza wrote so much that was prosaic and 
i tnvial that his reputation as a poet was injured thereby, 
i Peza went to Spain as secretary of the Mexican legation 
I in 1878 and there published several articles on Mexican 
i poets that aroused an interest in them among the Span- 
i iards. 


Landscape poetry has always been practiced by Mex 
cans. The classic type was revived by Joaquin Arcadi 
Pagaza (b. 1839) whose greatest service to literatui 
despite his numerous sonnets was a Castilian version ( 
Landivar's great Latin poem written in the eighteent 
century descriptive of the natural beauties of Guatemal; 

Original verse of a similar kind was written by Manu 
Jose Oth5n (i 858-1906), who must be ranked amor 
Mexico's best poets for his real appreciation of nature 
moods. Like Pagaza he chose for his favorite form 1 
expression sonnets which he arranged in sequences. Oi 
of these, Noche rustica de Walpurgis {Sinfonia Drdmatica 
depicts the experiences of a poet invited to leave tl 
singing of arms and listen to the "things of the night 
A sonnet is devoted to each experience. He sees tl 
moonlight play on the foliage of an old and enormo 
tree as on a harp. In the distance, the nightingale sinj 
the river discourses garrulous and the stars reveal the 
respect for man. The cricket and the night birds le; 
to the cemetery. Witches and ghosts appear. Final 
the cock crows, the matin bell rings, and a gunshot i- 
sounds, suggestive either of an execution or a hunte; 
escape from a wild beast. A dog alert for his maste; 
safety barks. The morning light floods the earth al 
men pass to their daily avocations. 

There is in this sonnet sequence a certain gloominess f 
imagination characteristic of Mexican verse. The po't 
has been well expressed by the well-known critic fm 
Santo Domingo, Pedro Henriquez Urena, who writes - 
"Just as the landscape of the high Mexican plate;, 
accentuated by the rarity of the air, rendered barren y 

MtXiCX) 363 

' dw dr>'ncss and the cold, under a pale blue sky, is covered 
' with gray and yellowish tones, so Mexican poetry seems 
' to take its tonality from them. A moderation and a 
I melancholy sentiment supgestive of twilipht and autumn 
' agree with that perpetual autunm of the heiphrs very 
' different from the ever fertile spring of the tropics," 

rhc most autumnal poet of all was Manuel Gutierrez 
' Najera (1859-95). who is the incarnation of gentle melan- 
' choly. Admiration of him is so great among the younger 

Mexicans that they say Gutierrez Najera is the only 
' real poet bom in Mexico since Sor Juana. Perhaps they 
' mean that he voiced in a preeminent degree the mental 

qualities derived by the educated Mexicans from their 
\ race and environment. His verses, often suggesting more 

ideas than they expressed verbally, possessed a rare musical 
! quality. And that marriage of music and words was his 
I special contribution as a precursor of the modcmista 
I movement of Spanish-American literature.' 
! In his earliest poems, written before 1S80, Gutierrez 
I Najera followed the Catholic tradition of Pesado and 
I Carpio. For this reason the Catholic element of Mexican 
I society suffering severe defeat at the hands of the triumph- 
t ant liberalism of such writers as Ignacio Ramirez and 
' Altamirano backed by the Juarez administration hoped 
! to find a champion in Gutierrez Najera. In this expecta- 
I tion they were disappointed in spite of the intensely 

religious feelings of his typical poems \on omnis monar 
nd Pax anima. His attitude toward death is beauti- 
I fully expressed in his elegiac poem Para entonccs. 

In this poem he utters the wish to die at the decline 

> Sec page 4;;. 


of day on the high sea; where in his last moments he will 
hear only the prayer of the waves; to die when the sun 
casts its last ruddy glow on the green waters; to be like 
the sun, something luminous which is extinguished; to 
die young, when life still attracts "though we know she 
deceives us." 

In the technique of his verse Gutierrez Najera endeav- 
ored to amalgamate the French spirit and the Spanish 
form and thus produce a type of poetry which should be 
the flower of romanticism. His success was such that 
in the words of his panegyrist, Justo Sierra, "the singers 
of all Spanish America awoke in his nest and flew from 

In the grace and elegance of the poet spoke the in' 
dividuality of the man. For his modest reserve he wa.' 
nicknamed by his friends "El Duque Job," His innat( 
good taste never permitted him to carry the sensualistit 
tendency of his verse to the point of vulgarity, as, fo 
example, in his playful La Duqtiesa Job, in which he sing 
the physical perfections of his wife. 

The same grace and good taste marked his joumalisti' 
work in prose. In this he was a forerunner of the modem 
ista prose for he abandoned the heavy Spanish perioi 
for the lighter French style. And his clear logic ani 
vehemence as a prose writer stand in sharp contrast wit 
the vague sentimentality of the poet. 

In 1894 Gutierrez Najera in company with Carlos Dia 
Dufoo founded La Revista Azid. Without reference t 
Ruben Dario's book Azul, from which, however, extract 
were printed from time to time in this weekly review, tli 
editor, "El Duque Job," explained its title thus: "Wh 


^luc? Because in the blue, there is sunUftht; because in 
he bUie. there are clouds; and because in the blue, hopes 
ily in flocks. Blue is not merely a color, it is a mystery" 
{Later to defend the pun ly artistic purpose of the maj»a- 
tdnes from the critics who assailed his adherence to French 
.nodels, he wrote, "Whoever would cultivate art must 
|;ct his supplies from France where art lives a more in- 
|:ense life than elsewhere." The review concerned itself 
miy with works of Iiterar\' art in prose and verse. News 
Items were rigidly excluded. Even the death of Gutierrez 
Nijera himself received scant attention. 
I Frequent contributors were Luis G. Urbina (b. 1867), 
|o«c Juan Tablada (b. 1S71) and Rafael de Zayas Enri- 
^ucz; but the names of nearly every writer interested in 
!:he modemista movement appear in its pages, even that 
l)f the .Andalusian poet Salvador Rueda, through whom 
•he spirit of the new poetry passed into Spain. 

\nother Mexican poet whose manner was widely 
nutated outside of his own country was Salvador Diaz 
Miron (b. 1855). His originality' lay in the fiery elo- 
i)uence of his verses and their spirit of revolt. He came 
trom the hot region of Vera Cruz, which may explain in 
Ijart his torrid pugnacity and sensuality. Moreover, he 
Irultivated the quatrain as a form of verse expression, 
(uU he put on it a personal stamp. Later he developed 
rertain theories of prosody in which others have not fol- 
lowed him, so that his more recent poems exhibit a second 
juanncrism peculiar to Diaz Miron.' 

The landscape school of poetry so ably represented 
by Othon has had many followers in Mexico, for example, 
' ' Sec page 452. 


Luis G. Urbina and Rafael L6pez. Urbina's excellent 
verse is exhibited in his Poema del Lago and El Poema del 
Muriel. The latter was inspired by the marine scenery 
and fisher folk of Cuba where the poet sought refuge 
during the recent upheaval in Mexico. Both poems are 
sonnet sequences, pictures of landscapes and life with the 
thoughts suggested by them in the mind of the poet. 

To the modernista movement Mexico not only contrib- 
uted Gutierrez Najera, Diaz Miron, Urbina but also 
Enrique Gonzalez Martinez (b. 1871), Alfonso Reyes, and 
especially Amado Nervo (b. 1870).^ Writers of verse have 
at all times been so numerous in Mexico that space forbids 
mention of all. 

The naturalistic doctrine of novel writing found ii^ 
Mexico ready imitators upon a promising field. Among 
the first of these was Jose Lopez Portillo y Rojas (h 
1850), for a short time minister for foreign affairs undei 
General Huerta, 191 4. His father being a wealthy anc 
eminent lawyer, the son enjoyed the advantages of : 
good education and wide travel in Europe and the Orien 
of which he has left a record in Ivipresiones de Viaje 
Knowledge of his own country he has set forth in hi 
novels. In La Parcela he offered a study of the morbi( 
affection for land displayed by the native proprietor' 
Don Pedro Ruiz, a rich Indian, has an only son, GonzaK 
twenty-three years of age who is engaged to marr 
Ramona, the only daughter of Don Miguel Diaz. Th 
latter is envious of Don Pedro's wealth, so at the sugge; 
tion of a shyster lauyer he seizes a lot of land adjoinin 
his own property. When the matter is carried into cour 
' See page 469. 

MEXILX) 367 

"the boundar)- line is determined by means of bribing the 
Judge in Don Miguel's favor. In a higher court, however, 
I the same means resecures the property f(»r Don Pedro. 
J Don Miguel then attempts to injure his wealthy neighbor 
I by various mean and underhaml methods such as assas- 
isinating his tenants and breaking a dam that impounds 
water for driving the hitter's mills. During all these 

• quarrels of the parents, the lovers are naturally having 
a hard time, but at last a sudden reconciliation permits 
their marriage and an end of the story. 

The devious ways by which men rise in Mexican politics, 

• the eagerness for disorder and revolution prevailing 
among the lower classes in Mexico, the peculiarities of 

/Mexican journalism arc all set forth in a four-volume novel 
|by Emilio Rabasa (b. 1856). Each volume is really 
'Complete in itself but the four relate the fortunes of Juan 
iQuinones, in love with the niece of Don Mateo, all na- 
|tivcs of an obscure village. Don Mateo, however, is 
, carried upward on fortune's wheel while Juan comes 
jtrailing after. In spite of the uncle's increasing ambi- 
tions for his niece, Juan finally wins her. The author, 
Emilio Rabasa, represented Mexico at the ABC con- 
/erence at Niagara in 191 4. 

I A popular writer who followed the changes in taste 
|wa« Rafael Delgado (i 853-1914). His first literary efforts 
,were plays written and produced during the great dramatic 
revival of the late seventies. La Caja de Dulces is a drama 
[in three acts, which made his friends so enthusiastic 
|that they presented him with a crown of silver and a gold 
,pcn. The following year, 1S79, he produced a translation 
of Fcuillet's I'nc (".ase de Conscitncr. I.i\ ini' in his n.itive 


province of Vera Cruz, he became a very active member 
of a literary society, la Sociedad Sanchez Oropesa, which 
met monthly under the leadership of Silvestre Moreno 
Cora, then rector of the college of Orizaba. Delgado's 
stories and sketches were printed in the newspapers of 
Vera Cruz and have been collected in book form. They 
are written in a manner that suggests Daudet's but deal 
realistically with the types of humanity in his province, as 
"el Caballerango" and "la Gata," by which local terms 
the stable boy and the maid servant are known. The 
stories contain realistic views of the hard and degraded 
existence led by the lower classes. Historical traditions 
also form part of his sketches written at this time. 

In novel writing Delgado began by an imitation of^ 
Jorge Isaacs' romantic idyll Maria. Delgado's love idyll 
Angelina appears to be a chapter from the author's per- 
sonal experience. Its hero, Rodolfo, is dependent on two 
aged aunts who have sent him away to school. When he 
returns to their house to undertake his duty of supporting 
them, he finds that they have taken under their protection 
at the solicitation of the parish priest an orphan girl, 
Angelina. The young people fall in love with each other. 
After some months of innocent and idyllic intercourse 
they are separated because the priest recalls Angelina 
to his own house while Rodolfo goes to service on the 
estate of a rich proprietor by the name of Fernandez. 
This man has a beautiful daughter, Gabriela, possessec 
of extraordinary talent in piano playing. Rodolfo fall; 
in love with her, though at the same time he retains hi 
affection for Angelina. Her correspondence with him i 
a careful study of feminine passion. At last, she learn 


RixJolfo's attentions to Gabriela. Tlun Angelina resolves 
I to become a sister of charity and writes the recreant lover 
I a very beautiful letter of renunciation. CJahriela, hovv- 
\ ever, has paid little or no attentit)n to Rodolfo and hnally 
I banishes him absolutely from lur presence. Rodolfo seeks 

solace in work. 
I Delgado's later novels followed more closely the ideas 
of the naturalistic school. Los Parxentfs Ricos is a satire 
on the customs of the middle class, while Calandria is 
I a picture of lower-class manners. In the latter Carmen 
is the natural daughter of a man of the world, Eduardo 
' Ortiz de Guerra who attempts to repair his fault by money. 
She is thus brought up to a love of luxur\'^ beyond her 
' station in life and consequently falls an easy victim to the 
' seductions of the rich Alberto Rojas though she is being 
'■ honorably courted by an honest young carpenter Gabriel. 
Their last interview in the garden is very touchingly de- 
' scribed and is excelled in tragic pathos only by the scene 
' in which Gabriel is at work building her coffin after her 
I amour with .Mberto has brought Carmen to her death. 
I This novel is praised by the professor Moreno Cora for 
! its "admirable exactness" in the portrayal of contemporary 
manners, and he asserts that he has known many men like 
the sinning and grief-stricken father, Eduardo Ortiz. 
The field of politics and social strife is claimed by an 
• interesting novel, Pacotillas, written by Porfirio Parra 
(b. 1855), who is also the author of a long ode on mathe- 
matics somewhat in the style of Acuria, his friend and fel- 
I low student of medicine. The novel ostensibly follows 
the fortunes of four young men friends. One of them, el 
Chango, rises by toadyism in politics and marries great 


wealth. Pacotillas is a sort of modem picaro who drinks 
hard and lives with Amalia without marrying her, some- 
times in comfortable circumstances and sometimes in 
great poverty. By antagonizing the government in 
articles which he published in the papers, he is thrown 
into prison where he finally dies. Like his prototype, 
el Periquillo Samiento, he takes the reader through various 
classes of Mexican society. 

In some respects the best writer and the closest adher- 
ent to the French naturalistic was Federico Gamboa (b. 
1864). From early youth Gamboa lived abroad and was 
connected with the Mexican diplomatic service in many 
capitals including Washington. His literary work began 
by adapting French vaudevilles and he has written several^ 
original plays of not much consequence. As a novelist, 
however, he has been fairly prolific and successful. A 
volume of sketches, Eshozos contempordneos, brought him 
a nomination as corresponding member to the Royal 
Spanish Academy. The first novel to bring him into 
international notice was published during his sojourn in 
Buenos Aires in 1892, Apariencias, which may be briefly 
described as a Mexican variation of the universal theme of 

The scene of this novel is laid in a small village during 
the French occupation under Maximilian. A realistic 
picture of the farcical court proceedings in which judges 
and defenders speak different languages without inter- 
preters opens the story. A youth, Pedro, is successfully 
defended upon the charge of being a spy though his father 
is condemned and executed. The reader's sympathy is 
thus thoroughly aroused and made ready to share the 



intense patriotism of the pages descriptive of the retreat 

uf the French annv from a town occiipiitl only hy wonun, 

children and old nun. IVdro's di fender, the hiwyer 

Don Luis, a man some hfty years of age, is so greatly 

touched by the lad's orphan helplessness that he takes 

ban to his home in the city of Mexico and adopts him. 

The lawyer's sister, Magdalena, falls in love with the hoy. 

In the meantime the susceptible lawyer also falls in love 

with the young daughter of a client and marries her. 

I The wife Elena and Pedro thus brought into intimacy 

I succumb to a guilty attraction to each other. The lad 

is thus false to his benefactor and adoptive father and to 

, his first love, Magdalena. The amour progresses rather 

I openly until the couple are surprised by the outraged 

I husband, who instead of following the time-honored cus- 

1 torn of killing the guilty ones condemns them to live. 

] The course of this affair is related with psychological 

I minuteness in the manner of Bourget just as the military 

scenes imitate the intensity of Zola. Realistic also are 

certain pictures of Mexican life such as the wedding break- 

I fast in a public cafe and the description of Mexico City 

at night when the public places are full of joyous revellers. 

The title of "dissector of souls" conferred on Gamboa 

j hy his critics was confirmed by Supreme Ley, published 

I in 1896. The soul in this case belongs to Julio Ortcgal, 

j a poor law clerk, whose wife, Carmen, is the hard working 

j mother of six children. Julio, to his destruction, comes into 

j contact with Cl<Jthilde, a siren, who has been thrown into 

j jail on suspicion of murdering her lover who had in reality 

committed suicide. Julio is infatuated to thi- extent that 

I when Clothilde is acquitted he abandons his wife and 


children to follow her. Though a consumptive he works 
overtime to pay for her extravagances. Finally, however, 
she casts him off. Julio broken in spirit and body returns 
to his family in time to die. 

Gamboa's ability to write was brought sharply to the 
attention of the North American public when he was 
secretary for foreign affairs for provisional President 
Huerta. The unassailable logic of his masterly replies 
to the first notes of our Department of State demanding 
Huerta's resignation elicited widespread admiration. 



To say that Cuban literature is wholly a literature of 
revolution would be an exaggeration. But in verses 
sufficiently innocent in appearance to escape the censor's 
pencil often lurked a thought that was evident to the 
patriot. If the word "libcrtad" occurring in a drama was 
deleted by the censor who substituted "lealtad," nobody 
was deceived; for a patriot liberty presupposes loyalty. 
Again the lover's melancholy on account of his sweet- 
heart's illness might be a thin disguise for the poet's 
lament over Cuba prostrate beneath the oppressor's heel. 

Verse undoubtedly was written with a purely artistic 
intent. In fact the bulk of verse produced in Cuba was 
so great that its very quantity has been explained as due 
to the political disability of the people. 

Prose on the other hand was generally a weapon in the 
fight for separation from Spain. Though some of it was 
journalistic and some oratorical, the censor's eye was too 
keen to allow every dry-as-dust title prefixed to a pas- 
sionate protest against some act of the authorities to pass 
unchallenged. Consequently there sprang up and flour- 
ished a form of literature, essentially Cuban in its fullest 
development, the political tract. It could be circulated 
secretly and even printed in a foreign country and smug- 
gled into Cuba. 



The first revolutionary, in whose lines Cubans sought 
and always found inspiration was also the greatest of 
Cuban poets, Jose Maria Heredia. As his work and early 
banishment occurred during the period of revolution in 
the rest of Spanish America, he has been considered else- 
where. While his fame was widespread beyond the seas, 
the same upheaval which caused his expulsion from Cuba 
brought about that also of a man, Felix Varela y Morales 
(1788-1853), whose reputation and influence remained 
peculiarly and locally Cuban. His importance to the 
cause of separatism lay, not in the emotional appeal of 
poetry but in the persuasive power of abstract reasoning. 

To Felix Varela the Cubans pay the tribute of saying 
that he taught them to think. He is the first of a notable 
line of teachers who shaped Cuban mentality. An in- 
tellectually brilliant young priest, professor of Latin, 
philosophy and science at the University of Havana, 
Varela began his innovations by giving instruction in the 
vernacular. In 1820 the famous society, Los Amigos del 
Pais, founded in Havana in 1793 and still in active exist- 
ence, resolved to establish a professorship of public law 
and this chair was won in public competition by Varela. 
Soon thereafter he w^as elected a deputy to the Cortes of 
Cadiz dispersed by Fernando VH in 1S23 for its liberal 
tendencies. Though Varela was one of the proscribed 
deputies marked for arrest, he succeeded in reaching 
Gibraltar and from there New York. He took up his 
residence in Philadelphia and began to issue a periodical, 
El Habanero, eagerly read in Cuba. Though this journal 
was short-lived, in others he continued to exert an influence 
on the aflPairs of the island till the day of his death. He 

CUBA 37;; 

died and was hiiriid in St. Aiif;iistini-, Kloriila, whirc his 
tomb lucanu- a shrine of pilgriniagt- for patriotic Cubans. 
\fiir their indt-pondcncf was won, in gratitude for his 
work they removed his bones to Cuba. 

V'arela in his philosophical teaching urged less attention 

to abstractions and more to the study of things. He 

j proclaimed the right of human reason to investigate for 

j itself. He preached against fanaticism and for tolerance 

in religious thought, especially against that abuse of 

religion which made it an aid to political despotism. 

When only Cuba of all the vast extent of Spanish 
possessions in .America was left to Spain, the island began 
! to enjoy great prosperity on account of the rela.xation 
I in the rigor of the laws concerning trade. Moreover, an 
immigration of loyalists from the rest of Spanish America 
swelled the number of the population. Assisted by this 
naturally loyalist disposition of the people the wiser and 
freer colonial policy of the Spanish government made all 
but a few irreconcilables incline favorably toward Spain. 
Dwellers in Cuba felt themselvts Spaniards rather than 
Cubans. Even the outbursts of Heredia against the hang- 
ing of the Spanish rebel leader Rafael del Riego were 
delivered more as the protests of a Spaniard than of a 
Cuban in spite of their possible local application. More- 
I over, the stimulus to literary endeavor came from Spanish 

In 1830 when the childless Fernando VH married Maria 
Cristina, the Spanish poet Quintana addressed the royal 
pair an ode which was nothing more or less than a hymn 
to liberty. To Cubans his words seemed an augur>' of a 
new epoch. Cuban poets imitated even the form of the 


verses. The society, Amigos del Pais, was moved to 
establish a literary section, of which Domingo del Monte, 
who was later to be a sort of Cuban Maecenas, was made 
secretary. When the little heiress known to history as 
Isabel II was bom, the society held a poetic contest which, 
being the first of the kind in Cuba, aroused great enthu- 
siasm among the youth. 

The first prize was awarded to Jose Antonio Echeverria 
(1815-84), then a lad of sixteen. Shortly thereafter he 
became an editor of a literary journal, El Plantel, in which 
appeared several of the important literary productions of 
this period. Though Echeverria wrote other poems and 
some prose tales, notably Antonelli, he became more 
prominent in later life for his active participation in 
separatist politics. 

Maria Cristina as queen regent awakened great expec- 
tations. In 1834 she appointed as her prime minister the 
poet Francisco Martinez de la Rosa (1789-1852), who had 
just produced his masterpiece, the romantic drama. La 
Conjuracion de Venecia. Again in Cuba there was re- 
joicing among the poets for they thought the queen regent 
and her minister would favor a more liberal policy in the 
government of Cuba. The best of the Cuban verses were 
gathered in a volume with the title of Aureola Poetica and 
sent to Martinez de la Rosa. The sponsor for this volume 
was Ignacio Valdes Machuca (1800-51) more praise- 
worthy as a patron of letters than as a poet. Still his 
little volume of youthful effusions, Ocios pokicos, pub- 
lished in 1819, makes a date in Cuban literature. In mate- 
rial ways also Valdes Machuca assisted striving poets. 
The most notable instance was that of the negro poet, 

CUBA 377 

Jose Francisco Manzano, a slave. He succeeded in raising 
a subscription of five hundred dollars with which he 
bought the man's freedom. This occurrence seemed so 
sensational to J. R. Madden, an Flnplish judge in the 
mixed court in Havana, that he published an P^nglish 
translation of several of Manzano's poems. 

In the liberal constitution granted to Spain by Maria 
Cristina in 1S34, Cuba expected to have her part. But 
the degree of freedom allowed her was by vote of the 

, Cortes denied and the Cuban deputies were excluded. 
Moreover, the despotic Miguel Tacon was appointed 

' Governor of Cuba and given absolute powers of repression. 
To the conduct of his office from 1834 to 1839 may be 
ascribed a rapid growth of separatist sentiment in Cuba. 

Coincident with Tacon's administration was the first 
flourishing period of Cuban literature due to a literary 
circle which formed about the person of Domingo del 
Monte (1SS04-54). He was wealthy and allied to aristo- 
cratic families in Spain. Del Monte's letters to his brother- 
in-law, Jose Luis Alfonso, form an excellent picture and 

, chronicle of events in Havana during the governorship 
of Tacon. Before the latter's arrival Del Monte's patron- 
age of Cuban letters was purely literary, but when the 

I tyrannous acts of the governor excited his disgust, it 

, assumed a political aspect. 

Poetry' was Del Monte's passion though he himself 

I wrote but indifferent verses. It was Del Monte who 

illcd the attention of the great Spanish critic Alberto 

i.ista to Hercdia's poems by sending him a copy of them 

with a request for an opinion. It was to Del Monte that 

Hercdia dedicated "in testimony of unalterable affection" 


the second part of his poems as arranged in the edition 
of Toluca. While in the United States Del Monte had 
printed at Philadelphia, 1828, a collection of the poems 
of the Spanish heroic poet Gallego. And on taking up his 
residence in Havana, Del Monte's house became a center 
for poetic endeavor. 

One of the first poets to receive his encouragement was 
Ramon Velez y Herrera (1808-86), who published a little 
volume of poems in 1833 which attracted attention be- 
cause it was the first book of poetry printed in Cuba since 
the Ocios Poeticos of Valdes Machuca, in 1819. Velez y 
Herrera worked according to an idea which Del Monte 
suggested in the phrase "cubanizar la poesia." This 
meant the development of the rude art of the "guajiros," 
the white country people of Cuba, who, descended from 
the peasants of Andalusia and Estremadura, preserved 
the custom at social gatherings of improvising verses on 
local events. Accordingly Velez depicted the life of the 
guajiros, their horse races, cock fights, boating contests, 
dances, and love affairs. In 1840 he combined a handful 
of similar poems into a connected narrative, Elvira de 
Oquendo los Amores de una guajira. This luckless maiden 
in love with Juan receives his attentions against the 
wishes of her parents. Juan persuades Elvira to elope. 
Pursued by her father's retainers, Juan is forced into a 
fight in which he kills several of them, but he is taken 
prisoner, tried and executed for murder. Elvira wander- 
ing about alone is finally found, but when taken into her 
father's presence she falls dead. The reader, however, 
does not feel very poignant grief at the sorrows of the 
unfortunate pair, because he is being constantly enter- 

CUBA 379 

I cained by digressions concerning the customs of the coun- 
try. In 1S56 V'clez y Hcrrcra puMishcd a new culliction 
of similar poems in his Rotnanc^s Cubanos, but the puhhc 
was tired of poetic cock fights. 

Utilization of popular poetry was also practiced dur- 
ing the thirties, quite independently of Del Montc's in- 
fluence, by Francisco Poveda y Armenteros, an almost 
, illiterate peon living in the eastern end of the island. In 
spite of his gift for song, his verses being scattered among 
various newspapers which had published them over the 
' pen name of " El Trovador Cubano," he would probably 
I have remained in oblivion, had not some enthusiastic 
young lovers of poetry discovered him when an old man, 
^ and to relieve his poverty brought about the production, 
J in 1879, of a sort of drama of his, El Peon de Bayamo. 

iThe most popular poet developed in Del Monte's circle 
was Jose Jacinto Milanes (1S14-63). Though he began 
to publish verses at the age of twenty-three, his period of 
literary production was terminated in seven years in 
, 1843 by his becoming insane. He put Del Montc's liter- 
' ary theories into practice by giving his poems a setting 
amid the tropical beauty of the Cuban landscape. Thus 
he taught later poets the value of local color. .At the 
same time he believed in making poetry the handmaid 
of morality. In this respect, especially in his choice of 
topics, he seems to modern critics to have exceeded the 
limits of good taste. A third characteristic of his lines 
was his sentimental melancholy. His most famous poems 
I illustrate these peculiarities. 

La }faJruf^ada offers to the poet the beauty of the 
dawn, but since he seen a etrtain beautiful woman. 


who, however, scorns his advances, he has no eyes for 
nature because the sight of two doves, two stars, two 
waves, or two clouds reminds him of his "continual soli- 
tude." In La Fuga de la Tortola, the poet laments the 
flight of his turtle dove and though he approves her pas- 
sionate longing for liberty, he feels he will die unless she 
returns. El Beso presents the poet sitting beside a beau- 
tiful young girl "at night in a cool garden"; the situation 
inspires him with a desire to kiss her; he goes so far as to 
seize her hand but is deterred from his intention by the 
thought that, although his own kiss is pure, another 
man's kiss might prove her ruination. "I went away in 
peace, a tear of sweetness bathed my face." El ExpSsiio, 
originally printed in the little periodical. El Plantel, made^ 
a sensation. A critic objected to the poem on the ground 
that not all illegitimate children grew up depraved and 
vicious. Milanes stoutly defended both the logic and the 
morality of his teaching that an abandoned and illegiti- 
mate child could scarcely avoid being a criminal. In El 
Miron Cubano the author appears as a sort of doctor of 
morality who offers his advice to those who bring their 
troubles to him. This poem in dialogue form is a series 
of observations and criticisms of Milanes' fellow towns- 
men in the city of Matanzas. 

These moral, or philosophical, poems as their author 
termed them abound in touches descriptive of Cuban 
life undoubtedly true of the epoch in which they were 
written. It was even possible for contemporary readers 
to name the individuals who served as models. The local 
color and the real musical quality of the lines has made 
Milanes' poems popular among his countrymen. In 


rhf words of Zonca: — "Thry plulr alonp like thi- still 

Milancs also wrote a drama, El Condr /llarcos, which 

irouscd enthusiasm amonp his friends. This is a roman- 

uc drama in the manner of the Spaniard Garcia Ciutierrez. 

The Conde Ahircos, a prisoner of war of the Kinp of 

France, is allowed, through the influence of the Princess 

I Blanche in love with the count, to revisit his country after 
pledging his word o( honor that he will return. During 
j his visit he is married to a Spanish lady. When, however, 
the Princess f^lanche learns this fact, she is unwilling to 
' give up the count, though he has proved so faithless to the 
favors she had bestowed on him in his captivity. She 
I persuades her father, the king, to procure the assassina- 
tion of the innocent wife in order that she may herself 
marry the count. 
Under Del Monte's influence, Milanes wrote a few 
orscs with political significance, but Del Monte's own 
•litical writings were in prose. He is perhaps the initia- 
)rof the political tract, that form of literature so flourish- 
mg in the peculiar circumstances of Cuban life. His most 
important efl^ort was La Isla df Cuba tal cual estd. Written 
in 1836 to refute a pamphlet by a Spaniard, F. Guerra 
I Bethcncourt, who praised the condition of the island, 
Del Monte's tract was an honest protest against the harsh 
methods of the colonial governor, Miguel Tacon. 

It was followed the next year by the famous Paralelo 
entre la isla de Cuba y algunas colonias ingUsas, by Jose 
Antonio Saco (1797-1^79^- The m.iin argum<nr of this 
tract was that a union with (ireat Mritain or the United 
States would be an advantage to Cuba. The governor 


Tacon reported these pamphlets to the government of 
Spain as the work of " pernicious men." 

Jose Antonio Saco, suffering banishment by order of 
Tacon, became in a literary way one of the foremost 
champions of the cause of Cuban independence. In early 
life he was a brilliant scholar, one of the chief opponents 
of Felix Varela in the contest for the professorship of 
public law, and Varela's successor in that chair when the 
latter went to Spain as Cuban member of the Cortes. In 
the United States he was Varela's partner in literary 
enterprises. In 1832, Saco being in Havana, they edited 
the celebrated Revista himestre Cubana. Regarding the 
literary merit of this review, George Ticknor, the his- 
torian of Spanish letters, wrote to Del Monte under> 
date of April 24th, 1834: — "I have been struck ever since 
I first began to read the Revista bimestre Cubana with the 
amount of literary talent and accomplishment in your 
island. Nothing to be compared with it, has, so far as 
I am informed, ever been exhibited in any of the Spanish 
colonies and even in some respects, nothing like it is to 
be seen in Spain. A review of such spirit, variety and 
power has never been even attempted at Madrid." 

The government at Madrid had authorized the estab- 
lishment in Havana of an Academia de Literatura; but 
to General Tacon such a society seemed a gathering of 
malcontents and he forbade it. At the same time he 
ordered Saco to leave the island. The immediate cause 
for his expulsion was his attack on African slavery, the 
source of many evils in Cuba. From his first writings 
against the slave trade grew a book, Historia de la Esclavi- 
tudy to which he devoted his leisure for thirty years be- 

CUBA 383 

fore its complete publication. Saco returned to Cuba 
only in 1S61, and tluii tmnly fi»r a short visit. Hut he 
kept in touch with the aHairs of the ishmd. When thi- 
political situation became acute about 1^50, he wrote 
some of his most famous tracts, and again in 1S65 when 
'reforms by Spain seemed imminent he came into public 
notice. Even after his death extracts from his book on 
•slaverj' scr\'ed in the literary fight preparing the success- 
ful revolution of i!^95. Thus Saco's life and writings 
correspond to a long epoch in Cuban history'. 
I B€fore passing on, however, a word must be said about 
Del Monre's influence on prose literature other than 
political. "Without doubt Domingo del Monte y Aponte 
Was one of the persons to whom Cuban letters must be 
"Host grateful."' By example Del Monte tried to demon- 
strate the literar\' value of fiction, but in this department 
'^t was surpassed by two young men in his circle, Anselmo 
Suarezy Romero (1818-78) and Cirilo Villaverde (1812- 
'>4). Both wrote with the inspiring idea of realistically 
lepicting Cuban life. 

' Suarez y Romero as the painter of Cuban customs is 
)nc of the foremost Cuban writers of prose. By Del 
slonte's advice he chose to write articles on manners in 
vhich he should touch on evils that ought to be cor- 
lected. What Milanes was doing in verse Suarez contin- 
|ied in prose. His CoUccion de Articulos, published in 1857, 
.roused such enthusiasm for its excellent diction that it 

* D. Figarola Cancda in Cuba C.ontfmporanta, Vol. V, 43}. To Scnor 
figaroU Cancd^, the distinguished librarian of the Cuban national 
bnry, Cuban letters arc indebted for many literary studies, luch as 
I Biiiiofrafij dr R Mrrchan. 


was adopted in the Colegio de San Salvador as a text for 
lessons in reading. The evil which Suarez mainly attacked 
was negro slavery. In 1838 appeared his first tale Fran- 
cisco, the dramatic story of a pair of lovers, negro slaves, 
who for frivolous reasons are forbidden to marry. This 
act of their wealthy mistress results in much misfortune. 
When the young woman passes into the possession of 
the owner's son, Francisco hangs himself. The local 
color of the whole tale and especially the portrait of 
the old stage driver was greatly praised by the poet 

The same theme of African slavery is the basis of 
Cirilo Villaverde's story Cecilia V aides. On account of 
its length and its purpose of depicting the whole of Cuban* 
society from the Captain General down to the humble 
negro it well deserves the name of the first Cuban novel. 
Cecilia is a beautiful mulattress the daughter of an igno- 
rant and vulgar Spaniard enriched by the slave trade. 
His legitimate son, Leonardo, ignorant of the blood tie 
which unites him to Cecilia falls in love with her, suc- 
cessfully baflHing his father's efforts to keep them apart. 
A mulatto, Pimienta, is also in love with Cecilia, who, 
proud of Leonardo's wooing, scornfully rejects the humble 
suitor, A day arrives when Leonardo marries a young 
lady of his own class. Cecilia, mad with jealousy, incites 
Pimienta to attack the couple on their way to church 
for the wedding ceremony. Pimienta stabs Leonardo. 

This novel, left unfinished by its author in 1839, was 
completed forty years later. It has been called a photo- 
graph of Havana in the thirties, because it minutely 
relates real events, giving the names of the persons con- 

CUBA 385 

ccmed. The Captain General is not spared hut appears 
in the act of granting an audience at a cockHght to which 
sport he is much attached. The guajiro bravo and as- 
sassin and the negro Tonda employed by the governor 
for underhand enterprises are also types of the period. 
The rich slave trader Gainboa who buys a title of nobility 
;and his spendthrift and worthless son spoiled by an in- 
dulgent mother are drawn from life. 

The negro problem soon after the period described in 
this stor>', took on e.\treme significance in Cuban politics. 
Connected with this problem was the personal fate of 
one of Cuba's leading poets who though a mulatto was 
received at Del Monte's tertulias. His execution on sus- 
picion of being a leader in a negro uprising has lent an 
additional interest to his poems. 

^ Gabriel de la Concepcion \'aldes (1S09-44), com- 
monly known by his pen name "Placido" was the son 
pf a Spanish dancing girl and a mulatto hair dresser. 
Following the condition of his mother he was free but 
:herefore compelled to earn his Irving. He learned the 
jnade of making tortoise shell combs. Somebody taught 
lim to read and his acquaintances loaned him books. A 
/olumc of Maainez de la Rosa's poems incited him to 
(tttempt the composition of verse, whereby he discovered 
'hat he possessed a real gift of song. A druggist, Fran- 
•jsco Placido Puentes, supplied him with writing ma- 
terials and an opportunity to write in his store. In return 
pe selected " Placido" as a pen name. Some say, however, 
I hat the name was derived from Madame de Genlis' 
lovel Placido y Rlanca. He was introduced into the 
•ircle of V'aldcs Machuca by Velcz y Herrera. Thus he 


became one of the poets who composed the Aureola 
Poetica in honor of Martinez de la Rosa. Placido's con- 
tribution, La Siempreviva, was considered the best poem 
in the garland. At any rate the minister wrote a personal 
letter of thanks to his poor mulatto admirer. 

Placido's earlier poems and perhaps the majority of 
those in the volume of his collected verses are occasional 
in character, birthday congratulations, condolences and 
the like. According to some, he was all too ready to pur- 
chase crumbs of favor by reciting at evening parties such 
verses as he had written for the occasion. Milanes prob- 
ably referred to him as El Poeta envilecido in the lines 
reproaching an unnamed poet for degrading his art by 
singing at the magnate's feast "without shame or sensed 
and disputing a bone with the mastiff." But there is 
rich grain among the chaff of Placido's work. 

Among the purely lyrical pieces are some letrillas with 
such fragrant titles as La Flor del Cafe, La Flor de la Pina, 
La Flor de la Cana. These alone have carried Placido's 
name over Spanish America. They are not descriptive 
but are little pictures of native life and love making, in 
which the words of the title serve as a refrain. 

Among Placido's compositions with a historical theme 
is a remarkable romance, Xicontencal, remarkable because 
the author has quite caught the spirit and movement of 
the old Spanish ballads. Xicontencal, a young Tlascalan 
chief who has just triumphed over the warriors of Monte- 
zuma, is being carried in a litter through his native city. 
His eye happens to rest on some Aztec prisoners bound 
to stakes in preparation for their burning alive. Leaping 
down, the young chief frees the prisoners, bidding them 

cm A 387 

rttum to Mexico with the intssapr that his victories will 
' not be stained hy such cruelties as their monarch prac- 
tices, but he is ready to f\^\n him even at the odds of one 
• > three himdred. 

To a talenteii man in the social position of (labriel dc 

) la Concepcion \ aides, whose very name, according to the 

) custom of the foundling asylum which had sheltered his 

I infancy, commemorated the charity of the pood bishop 

I who established the asylum, life must at times have seemed 

i ver>' bitter. An expression of such feelinRs can at least 

be read into some of his poems. In tin beautiful Jincs on 

' La Palrr.n y la Malva, the insipnihcant mallow nestling 

in the grass of a lofty hill is full of pride at her position 

' and speaks with condescension to the palm tree on the 

plain below. With head erect the palm replies: — "Do 

you consider yourself the greater merely because you 

I were bom in a high place.' i he place where you happen 

to be is great, not you." 

I His feelings about liberty, expressed with all the ardor 

j of African blood, are revealed ill a sonnet on the death 

I of the tyrant Gessler. It pictures Tell standing exultant 

over the quivering corpse of the tyrant and holding his 

bow as a symbol of liberty. More explicit are the poet's 

words in verses to the Mexican general, Adolfo de la Flor, 

hich he is to read on reaching Mexican soil. "Go, yes, 

go to the shores where liberty is; and on arriving at the 

' beach, draw forth my verses, bend your knee and touch 

I them three times to the earth. Since my ill fortune and 

the seas prevent my enjoying the divine essence, may 

■ my songs enjoy it. .And when you learn of my death, 

I tend dust moistened with your tears in a litter to some 


faithful friend and that shall be the most precious flower 
with which you can adorn my tomb." 

As the author of such verses and a prominent member 
of the African race it was natural that Placido should fall 
under the suspicion of the authorities when, in 1844, they 
scented a negro uprising. Moreover, he was denounced 
as the author of certain patriotic lines circulating in manu- 
script. With ten others he was thrown into prison. After 
a sort of trial he was condemned to die. He had stoutly 
defended his innocence of any complicity in sinister 
plotting and expected eventually to be released. When 
however the sentence of death was announced to him he 
replied: — "I shall die singing like the Cuban nightingale." 
On the way to the place of execution he did recite verses 
of his own composition. After his death there were put 
into circulation three fine poems whose excellence combined 
with the tragic circumstance of his end did more to confer 
on him the name of real poet than all the remainder of 
his work. 

The shortest is a sonnet, Despedida a mi Madre, in which 
he bids his mother not to grieve, for his lyre utters its 
last sound to her memory while the mantle of religion 
covers him. In the Adios a mi Lira he expressed in noble 
words the consolation which the cultivation of poetry 
had been to him. His lyre, he declared, will not remain 
in the dust of a vile prison; he begs God to accept it. He 
has dreamed of a world of pure glory and justice which 
men do not understand but angels have seen, that world 
which he hopes to see within a few hours and then he will 
praise God that he has departed from this mansion of 
crimes. The final stanza runs thus: "Farewell, my lyre, 

CUBA 389 

commended to God. Farewtll! I bless thee! My calm 
spirit inspired by thee scorns the cruelty of hostile fate. 
Men will see thee consecrated to-day. God and my last 
farewell remain with thee, for between God and the tomb 
one tells no lies. Farewell! I am going to die — I am 

Somewhat shorter, the PUgaria a Dios is the most 
famous of all by reason of its lofty sentiment and artistic 
form. It was said that Placido recited this prayer on the 
way to execution. It has been translated into English. 

O God of love unbounded! Lord supreme! 

In ove^^vhelming grief to thee I fly. 

Rending this veil of hateful calumny, 

Oh let thine arm of might my fame redeem! 

W ipe thou this foul disgrace from off my brow. 

With which the world hath sought to stamp it now. 

Thou King of Kings, my fathers' God and mine. 
Thou only art my sure and strong defence. 
The polar snows, the tropic fires intense. 
The shaded sea, the air, the light are thine: 
The life of leaves, the water's changeful tide. 
All things are thine, and by thy will abide. 

Thou art all power; all life from thee goes forth, 
And fails or flows obedient to thy breath; 
Without thee all is naught; in endless death 
All nature sinks forlorn and nothing worth. 
Yet even the Void obeys thee; and from naught 
By thy dread word the living man was wrought. 

Merciful God! How should I thee deceive? 

Let thy eternal wisdom search my soul! 

Bowed down to earth by falsehood's base control. 


Her stainless wings not now the air may cleave. 
Send forth thine hosts of truth and set her free! 
Stay thou, O Lord, the oppressor's victory! 

Forbid it. Lord, by that most free outpouring 

Of thine own most precious blood for every brother 

Of our lost race, and by thy Holy Mother, 

So full of grief, so loving, so adoring, 

Who clothed in sorrow followed thee afar, 

Weeping thy death like a declining star. 

But if this lot thy love ordains to me. 
To yield to foes most cruel and unjust. 
To die and leave my poor and senseless dust 
The scofF and sport of their weak enmity, 
Speak Thou, and then Thy purposes fulfill; 
Lord of my life, work Thou Thy perfect will. 

The three posthumous poems on which Placido's repu- 
tation as a great poet mainly depends, have given rise to 
a controversy concerning their authenticity. Manuel 
Sanguily, recently Cuban secretary of state and in early 
life an active partisan of Cuban independence, contends 
that the poems are apocryphal, basing his belief on the 
following arguments. The poems circulated in manu- 
script for some time after Placido's execution. An eye- 
witness to his death testified that the words which the 
poet recited on the way to the place of execution were 
not those of the Plegaria, but of his sonnet, La Fatalidad. 
Moreover, during the months of his incarceration Placido 
firmly expected to be released, so that certain expressions 
in these poems do not ring true. The Despedida a mi 
madre implies that she had lost track of her son, whereas. 

CUBA 391 

it is known that mother and son maintained their rela. 
tions. Finally there is no tradition respecting the manner 
by which the poems were transmitted from the prison. 

Sanguily has not, however, revealed the name of the 
man who he believes is their author; but he has promised 
to do so when his book about Placido is ready. Sanguily 
first advanced his theory in his revolutionary journal 
Hojas liurarias, in 1893, at a time when a sensational dis- 
cussion of the famous poet's last hours would direct 
attention quite as much to the part played in them by 
the Spaniards, and to the political question in general 
as it would to the question of fact in literary history. 

Placido's death marks the end of an epoch in Cuban 
letters. Succeeding poets with the exception of Ramon 
de Palma belong to a younger generation. Ramon de 
Palma y Romay (i Si 2-60), though he was a member of 
Del Monte's tertulia and joint editor with Echevarria of 
El Plantc'l, followed in his later poems the new fashions. 
In using poetrj' to inculcate morality, Palma showed him- 
self a disciple of Milanes. In the flight of a gull, for ex- 
ample, he could find grandiose thoughts to describe the 
journey of the poet through the desert of selfish human 
society. That poem of his early period most praised by 
his friends was an ode on an epidemic of cholera which 
in 1833 ravaged the city of Havana. Against this back- 
ground he sketched the power of God. The same theme 
also ser^xd him for a prose tale full of realistic details. 
This was not the only tale which he produced, however, 
for by profession Palma was a scfhoolmaster who wrote 
continually for the papers both in prose and verse. He 
even essayed the drama, and it is said that he was the 


first Cuban to have a play staged. In 1837 was pro- 
duced La Prueba la Vuelta del Cruzado. Ten years 
later he had the pleasure of listening to an Italian opera 
troupe in an operetta for which he wrote the libretto. 
Una Escena del Descubri7}iiento de America por Colon. Of 
the poems which he wrote in his later period when the 
whisperings of liberty were beginning to stir in Cuba, the 
most important was a very excellent translation of Man- 
zoni's famous ode on the death of Napoleon, // Cinque 
Maggie. On account of his literary activity Palma fell 
under suspicion of complicity in the troubles of 1852, 
and suffered imprisonment for a short time. 

These troubles were the outcome of the activity of a 
party which believed that a solution for Cuba's ills lay 
in the annexation of the island by the United States. 
The ferocity with which the captain general Leopoldo 
O'Donnell suppressed the supposed negro insurrection 
of 1844, spared neither whites nor blacks. Prominent 
Cubans of all classes fell under suspicion. Even Del 
Monte, at whose tertulias the negro poets Placido and 
Manzano had been welcome was accused. Fortunately 
at this time he was in Europe where influential friends 
were able to save him from disgrace. But the stern meas- 
ures of the government only fanned the flames of dis- 

Jose Antonio Saco from his safe retreat in the United 
States sent many tracts to Cuba. He had modified some- 
what his earlier views and demanded, in case Spain re- 
fused to grant reforms, absolute independence for Cuba. 
In his Ideas sobre la incorporacion de Cuba en los Estados 
Unidos, 1848, he opposed the annexationists on the 

CIHA 393 

ground that Immigration from the United States would 
bring ahout a gradual disappearance ot Cuban nationahty. 
His Situacion de Cuba y su remedio, 1851, showed the 
necessity of granting to Cuba an ample degree of Hberty; 
in default of which Spain would lose the island. He set 
forth these alternatives in the eloquent Espatia concede 
a Cuba dcrechos politicos Cuba se pierde para Espaha. 
This essay is now the classic example of Cuban political 

The annexationist party found it an easy matter to 
arouse popular enthusiasm in their favor throughout the 
United States. Besides, Southern politicians believed 
that the annexation of Cuba would provide more slave 
territor}'. In the island, Narciso Lopez, a native of 
Venezuela, who had been a general in Spain in the Carlist 
war, was fired by the ambition of becoming the liberator 
of Cuba. For that purpose he came to the United States 
and organized two filibustering expeditions. The first 
failed through the interference of the government of the 
United States. Despite its activities Lopez found little 
difficulty in securing in several cities parties of adven- 
turers. It is noteworthy that they enrolled under a flag 
with three blue and two white stripes, at the top of which 
was a red field bearing a single white star, the present 
emblem of free Cuba. Lopez' second expedition sailed 
from New Orleans, August 3d, 1S51. On reaching the 
Cuban coast, his steamer ran aground about sixteen miles 
from Havana. Though Lopez and the main body of 
filibusters succeeded in gaining the mountains, an Amer- 
ican colonel Crittenden and fifty others in charge of the 
equipment were captured by Spanish soldiers, taken to 


Havana and shot in the public square. Lopez himself 
somewhat later suffered a like fate. 

Political agitation in the United States for the purchase 
of Cuba from Spain nevertheless continued. Bills were 
introduced into Congress appropriating money for that 
purpose though without success. Spain's attitude was 
well expressed by a Spanish minister who frankly told 
Americans who broached the subject that he believed it 
to be the feeling of his country that sooner than see the 
island transferred to any power they would prefer seeing 
it sunk in the ocean. In 1854 James Buchanan, then 
minister to Great Britain, met the American ministers to 
France and Spain, and together they formulated and 
issued a remarkable document known as the "Ostend 
Manifesto" in which they declared that "from the pe- 
culiarity of its geographical position Cuba is as necessary 
to the North American republic as any of its present 
members." Buchanan when president continually urged 
in his annual messages the purchase of the island. And 
in the presidential campaign of i860, one slogan of the 
Democrats was "Cuba must be ours." 

In Cuba, however, there was little enthusiasm at the 
idea of annexation, a fact which is sometimes given as 
the cause of Lopez' complete failure. The contribution to 
Cuban psychology made by Saco's writings in propagat- 
ing the ideal of a Cuban state is the most that came of the 
agitation of these years. For a decade the young men 
wrote verses with a minimum of political significance. 
And during the fifties there was a second flourishing period 
of Cuban poetry. 

The year 1853 witnessed the publication of an attrac- 



tive collection of poems by four writers, in a volume en- 
titled Cuatro Latidc's, by name Ramon Zambrana, J. G. 
Roldan, R. M. dc Mendive and Felipe Lopez de Brinas. 
The first was a man of great culture and taste, a physician 
by profession, and a professor of the natural sciences who 
wrote much on his professional studies. As a poet Dr. 
Ramon Zambrana (1817-83), acknowledged Del Monte 
as his "master in literature" during his student days. 
To Del Monte he dedicated a volume of his poems which 
he says "are stamped by Del Monte's approval" having 
been read and criticised by the latter shortly before his 
death. The poems belong to the metaphysical type and 
deal with abstractions, the mystery of existence, light 
and harmony, or the creation. If he dwells on the beauties 
of nature it is for the purpose of drawing an allegory as in 
the tender lines of La Azuccna y el Agua. The water 
addressing the lily laments that the most beautiful flower 
on her course should be surrounded by brambles. The 
sympathetic personality of the man is here revealed. His 
popularity due to his character was somewhat enhanced 
by his romantic marriage to the poetess, Dona Luisa 
Perez (bom 1837), and her agreeable qualities. Their 
acquaintance began through the reading of her first little 
volume of verses, which she published at the age of nine- 
teen. After correspondence with her, for she lived at the 
eastern end of Cuba, he paid a visit which resulted in 
their marriage, 1858. 

The freshness of her poems, redolent of the fields and 
the country', must have delighted him. His own poems 
have nothing so fragrant as El Lirin. The poetess feigns 
to have discovered a lily beside a stream running through 


a valley paved with green, whither she betakes herself 
daily to attend the treasure. Perhaps his own little 
allegory on the lily may have been suggested by her lines 
and refer to her personally. 

Jose Gonzalo Roldan (1822-56) essayed unsuccessfully 
the elevated style. In a softer mood, however, he wrote a 
most charming little poem, El Agiiacero; charming for its 
tender delicacy of suggestion in rendering the situation and 
the setting. The poet explains to a trembling country girl 
that the storm which frightens her is only a passing shower; 
he invites her to keep her clothing Avy by coming under 
shelter and tries to calm her agitation by calling her 
attention to the phenomena accompanying the rain and 
to the sweet odors from the vegetation. 

Nature in various moods as reflected in the sentimental 
spirit of the poet furnished the matter for the other two 
contributors to Cuatro Laudes. In florid language, Felipe 
Lopez de Brifias (1822-77) sought to render the music 
of the woods in La Miisica del Bosque or the sentiments 
inspired by the dawn. El Amanecer. His best piece, Canto 
sdfico, was addressed to his wife whom he calls in the 
opening line "Chaste dove." He bids her awake because 
the morning calls him to his daily task and pray for him. 
At work he is cheered by thinking of her. If men should 
refuse him assistance he would take her into the beautiful 
woods where they would live apart from men on the 
bounties of Providence. 

Of more sustained inspiration was Rafael Maria de 
Mendive (1821-86). Yet the verdict of a Cuban critic, 
"Mendive's lyre has but one string," has long been con- 
sidered a just characterization of his sentimental and 

CUBA 397 

melnncholy poetn'. His first volume of verse appeared in 
1847 with the title Pasionarias. Its contents so pleased 
our poet Longfellow that he sent an inscribed copy of his 
own poems to the Cuban bard. Shortly after, Mendive 
went to Europe by way of the United States and during 
his four years there he made the acquaintance of prom- 
inent men in !• ranee, Spain and Italy. He returned to 
Cuba possessed of a love of letters and eager to be of 
serN'ice to his native island. Thus he not only published 
the collection of poems, Cuatro Laiides, but in 1853 with 
Quintiliano Garcia founded a fortnightly, Rc-vista de la 
Habana. This magazine was ambitious in its scope and 
became the medium of publication for a group of young 
writers. In respect to its importance and his influence a 
Cuban has said, "After Del Monte, Mendive is the man 
who has done most to prevent the dying out of enthusiasm 
for art among us." 

His enthusiasm for poetic art led Mendive to make many 
metrical translations. His rendering of Byron's song 

I saw thee weep — the big bright tear 
Came o'er that eye of blue; 
And then methought it did appear 
A violet dropping dew, 

has long been a favorite with Cuban lovers. His versions 
of Tom Moore's Irish Melodies earned for him the so- 
briquet of the Cuban Moore. He also arranged for the 
stage Gulnara, an operatic version of Byron's Corsair. 
Original dramatic efforts of his which he made for his 
mother-in-law's theater have been forgotten. 


In this theater occurred an incident which led to Men- 
dive's banishment from Cuba. When the revolution of 
1868 broke out Mendive was the principal of a school for 
boys in Havana. In January of the following year there 
was a popular demonstration of an unusual sort in protest 
against a tyrannical proclamation of a Spanish general. 
The performance of a certain comedy in the theater 
Villanueva was attended by groups of women with their 
hair flowing loose and attired in garments of white and 
blue bespangled with stars, thus suggesting the Cuban 
revolutionary colors. Rioting and bloodshed resulted. 
Mendive was arrested by the authorities as the instigator 
of this picturesque protest and deported to Spain for four 
years' imprisonment. There, however, literary acquaint- 
ances succeeded in procuring his release. He recrossed the 
Atlantic and settled in New York where he lived in great 
poverty till permitted by the general amnesty at the close 
of the revolution to return to Cuba. 

During these years he made use, however, of his poetic 
gifts to encourage the revolution. When his son had de- 
parted on the ill-fated filibustering steamer " Virginius," he 
wrote those lines with the refrain, 

Has hecho bien, hijo mlo, 
has hecho muy bien en ir 
a donde el honor te llama 
por la patria a combatir.^ 

lines in which like a father who has cheerfully given his 
own son for the cause, he strove to stimulate to patriotic 
action other Cubans living at ease in New York. An even 

' Thou hast done well, my son, thou hast done very well to go where 
honor calls thee to fight for thy country. 



severer flapfllation of unpatriotic Cubans was his poem 
Los DormiJos, "tlu-sc slaves of pleasure who patiently 
endure the whip on rlieir shoulders and fetters on their 
feet." If they will not hestir themselves, "let them sleep 
on till the avenging bolt of celestial anger surprises them." 
Mendive's work as a poet, however, is more essentially 
that of a lover of nature in whom its beauties inspire a 
train of moral or melancholy suggestions. The favorite 
^ un Arroyo is of this sort. Another favorite poem, La 
Gota de Rocio, exemplifies the delicacy of his fancy. How 
beautiful, the poet exclaims, is a drop of dew; whether it 
be on the feather of a bird or on the petal of a flower, 
whether on any of the trees of the forest or gliding among 
the roses. Perhaps it is an angel's tear. After his death 
the mysterious light of a drop of dew will illumine his name 
on his tombstone. Some thirsty bird will view it with 
rapture, a poet's tear shining on the marble. Mendive's 
tenderness is exhibited in his Sonrisa de la Virgen, of 
which there exists this metrical translation ascribed to 
Longfellow : 

Purer than the early breeze, 
Or the faint perfume of flowers. 
Maiden! through thine angel hours 

Pass the thoughts of love; 
Purer than the tender light 
On the morning's gentle face, 
, On thy lips of maiden grace 

Plays thy virgin smile! 

Like a bird's thy rapture is, 
Angel eyes thine eyes enlighten. 
On thy gracious forehead brighten 
Flashes from above; 


Flower-like thy breathings are, 
Free thy dreams from sinful strife, 
And the sunlight of thy life 
Is thy virgin smile! 

Loose thou never, gentle child, 
Thy spring garland from thy brow, 
Through life's flowery fields, as now. 

Wander careless still; 
Sweetly sing and gaily run, 
Drinking in the morning air, 
Free and happy everywhere. 

With thy virgin smile! 

Love and pleasure are but pains, ^ 

Bitter grief and miseries, 

Withered leaves, which every breeze 

Tosses at its will; 
Live thou purely with thy joy. 
With thy wonder and thy peace. 
Blessing life, till life shall cease. 

With thy virgin smile! 

A new type of poetry v^as introduced into Cuba by 
Jose Fornaris (i 829-1 890) and became so popular that 
books of verse sold by thousands in Cuba. Bethinking 
himself of the aborigines of his native island, he sang: — 

The memory of the sunburnt maids, 
With slender forms and soft black een, 
Who dwelt by murmuring cascades 
Beneath an arch of leafy green: 
Of stories of other witching days. 
Caught by surprise at the Caonao, 
Beside Bayamo as it plays. 
Or in the pure waters of Arimao. 



Fornaris' Cantos df Sibonry are a scries of k-pcnds partly 
traditiDiial hut in large measure imaginary. Some are 
conversations between lovers, as the one entitled Eliana 
y Guanari in which the maiden is reluctant to leave her 
home but at last yields to her lover's persuasions to live 
in the beautiful valley of Yumuri. The Cacique de Ornofay 
is revealed to us disputing with Columbus. The ilis- 
coverer invites him to see the splendors of Spain and the 
Spanish court, but the Indian chief refuses to believe that 
anything more beautiful in this world than his woodland 
home exists. At last the European concurs in that opinion. 
The legend of the Laguna de Jna Luisa explains the origin 
of a pool thus named. An Indian maid with the Christian 
name Ana Luisa prefers a member of the Siboney tribe to 
a Carib. The latter does not observe with as much pleas- 
ure as the reader of the poem their wooing among the 
flowers but steals treacherously upon them. With an 
arrow he slays his rival; then seizes the bride. But the 
river rising in wild indignation, ovenvhelms the criminal 
and buries in its waters the bodies of all three. The pool 
so formed still remains. On its banks by night the ghost 
of Ana Luisa bewails her fate. These poems are written 
with the utmost ease and simplicity of style. The author 
seemed to be able to turn out an illimitable quantity. 

His contemporaries held diverse opinions about their 
value. Dr. Zambrana was enthusiastic over the "new 
genre, because it leaves the beaten path." On the other 
hand, the poet's enemies pointed out that his local color 
did not agree with history; that he made no effort to 
depict manners and customs; that his Indians made love 
and were jealous in the conventional style; that, apart 


from the Indian canoes or piraguas and numerous names 
of places and persons, his verses differed little from any- 
body else's. Moreover, in the actual ethical composition 
of the Cuban people, the Indian element was entirely 
lacking. The many names ending in two vowels were a 
topic for sport. Probably the worst that can be truthfully 
said is that the extreme facility which he possessed in com- 
posing verses enticed him to write too many. 

He should not be blamed for the excesses of his imitators, 
however, the most notable of whom, Juan Cristobal 
Napoles Fajardo (bom 1829), "El Cuculambe" enjoyed 
considerable reputation at the eastern end of Cuba. His 
volume Rumores del Hormigo, 1857, piles up the Indian 
names in the descriptions of their love affairs. But he was 
more successful in giving literary form to the popular 
poetry and songs of the people among whom he lived, in 
both essential qualities of local color and truth. He ex- 
celled his master Fomaris as a painter of customs and the 
beauties of nature. 

Miguel Teurbe de Tolon (1820-58), without being an 
imitator of Fornaris, was at least stimulated by his ex- 
ample to bring out in 1856 a little volume entitled Ro- 
mances Cubanos in which he strove to live up to his 
doctrine that the "Cuban ballad was the true road to 
emancipation for our literature." Unfortunately he had 
very little popular history to work on, so that his ballads 
contain little that is realistic beyond the cockfights of the 
countrymen and their incorrect language. His bandits are 
not very attractive. On the other hand, some poems of 
personal inspiration are pleasing, because he wrote from 
experience. He lived an exile from Cuba for many years 



CUBA 403 

as secrctar\' of the Cuban revolutionary junta In New 
^'ork. Ho wrote for newspapers in both Spanish and 
Knglish, so that versions of his poems exist in both lan- 
guages. He even prepared a textbook for the study of 
Spanish. The notes of inspiration in his poems are \o\l for 
his mother, for Emilia and for his distant native land, 
whose political freedom he ardently desired. 

Among the poems of permanent value which were first 
printed in the Rtt'ista de la Habana should be mentioned 
La Caida dc- Misolonghi by Joaquin Lorenzo Luaces (1826- 
67). This begins with the clarion call, 

Revenge, oh Greeks! Misolonghi in ruins 
To Ibrahim fell with all her brave; 
Let the Moslem find within her walls 
The Greek a corpse but never a slave! 

The quatrain is repeated after each octave in which the 
poet urges patriots to hasten to battle with the tyrants 
and to shed their blood for their wives and their homes. 
WTiat is the life of a Greek? Slow death and infamous 
slavery in which he licks the chain that binds him. Such 
language, since it was applied to faraway Greeks, was 
permitted by the Spanish censor to appear in print; but 
as Rafael Merchan remarks, the poem "has never been 
Greek to the Cubans." 

Luaces, having studied Greek, took for his model the 
Pindaric ode. Moreover, he was willing to polish his dic- 
tion till he made a good imitation. For that reason per- 
haps, he lacks the spontaneity of either Heredia or Placido 
but everybody is willing with MenCndcz y Pclayo to con- 
cede him the third place in the Cuban Parnassus. In his 


symbolism, in his care for form, in his wealth of imagery, 
as in the exquisite sonnet La Salida del Cafetal, he is par 
excellence an artist. 

Beside the odes in which he concealed his love of liberty, 
under foreign names, he wrote one to Cyrus Field, 1859, 
upon completion of the laying of the transatlantic cable. 
The language and the sentiments are as noble as his sub- 
ject. Field is placed among the great heroes of mankind. 
While Alexander and Caesar won their laurels by blood- 
shed. Field has achieved his glory by uniting peoples of 
different race. If Columbus overcame space and opened 
America, if Fulton with his steamboat has hastened the 
flight of time, Field has dominated both space and time. 
Mankind should honor him to the utmost and his fame 
should be perpetuated forever. 

In imitation of Milanes' moral poems, Luaces wrote 
several, the best of which is La Vida. But they do not 
contribute so much to his reputation as his dramas wherein 
perhaps he also followed the older poet's example. Taken 
from his favorite Greek histor>% he wrote Aristodemo. ^ 
More in the romantic style is El Mendigo Rojo, the dram- a 
atization of an incident in the legend of the Scotch king 
James IV. The legend held that the king was not killed 
at Flodden Field but, disguised as a beggar and assisted 
by his bastard son John, he wandered about his kingdom. 
The situation is very similar to that in Zorrilla's drama, 
Traidor, inconfeso y mdrtir. Another play, Arturo de 
Osberg, as well as a long poem in three cantos of epic char- 
acter on Cuba is said to have been left among Luaces' 
papers. His fame however is quite secure without these. 
I In the year i860 there occurred an event which stirred 

CUBA 405 

the Cuban literary world to its depths. Cuba's most 
renowned daughter, "La Avellancda," after twenty years 
of literary triumphs abroad, returned for a brief sojourn. 
Dona Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, in the words of 
Enrique Pineyro, "is considered (nemine discrcpante) as 
the foremost of all women who have written verses in the 
Castilian language." Her career, however, belongs wholly 
to the literar>' history' of Spain and, except for the en- 
thusiasm and pride which it inspired, had little influence 
in the island. But her admirers gave her on this occasion 
a royal welcome. Her play, La Ilija de las Flores, the 
scene of which is laid in the Antilles, was produced in the 
theater. The Liceo Habanero voted her a civic crown and 
appointed to put it on her head their resident poetess, Dona 
Luisa Perez de Zambrana. 

Dona Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda (1814-73) left 
her Cuban home in Camagiiey at the age of twenty-two 
in order to accompany to Spain her mother who had 
married a col onel in th e Spanish army. In 1839 she pub- 
lished in Cadiz her first volume orVerses. Arriving in 
Madrid in 1840 where her poems had already made her 
known she soon became an important figure in literary 
circles. Though she continued to write verses which dis- 
played a union of the classic tradition with the best features 
of the Byronic romanticism, she made her mark on tKe 
Spanish theater with a succession of dramas of great merit. 
More numerous were her prose tales, some of which were 
long enough to be classed as novels. The first of these in 
point of time, Sab, having for its chief character a mulatto 
slave contained a protest against slavery. Of her poems 
a few had Cuban inspiration, La Estrella de Occidente, a 


sonnet expressing her farewell to Cuba, A la muerte de 
Heredia, an elegy, and other lines which showed that her 
heart always beat with love for the country of her birth. 

In as great degree as she met success in literary endeavor 
was she unfortunate in love. The first man with whom, to 
judge from her published correspondence she fell in love, 
but did not marry, proved cold and indifferent, perhaps 
overwhelmed by her superior intelligence. Her first hus- 
band lived less than a year after their marriage. Her 
second husband was attacked by a political enemy and 
stabbed. And it was for the purpose of seeking an improve- 
ment in his health that they came to Havana in i860. 
But as he died after a few months, she returned to Spain. 
For her troubles she sought consolation in religion. Con- 
sequently the tone of her poems is eminently religious in 
spite of the passionate robustness of her lines on historical 
topics. Her dramatic masterpiece, Baltasar, embodying 
the well-known biblical incident of the writing on the wall 
at Belshazzar's feast, and her less effective tragedy Saw/, 
show the same tendencies. 

Poetical activity during the early sixties was fostered 
by Nicolas Azcarate (1828-94). Like Del Monte he 
aspired to be the patron of Cuban literature by inviting 
poets to read their compositions at evening parties in his 
home. And he published some of their effusions in an 
elegant volume, Noches liter arias en casa de Nicolas Az- 
carate. Moreover, he assisted needy poets financially. 
To Mendive he gave the principalship of a secondary 
school which Azcarate founded at his own expense. In 
Saturnino Martinez, a youthful poet, Azcarate thought 
he had discovered a genius; but in spite of the magnate's 


CUBA 407 

assistance Martinez never became more than a weak 
disciple of Fornaris. At a later date when Azcarate's 
own fortune had considerably dwindled he still had suffi- 
cient influence to launch a subscription amounting finally 
to i^22,ooo for the widow and children of Dr. Zatnbrana. 

Azcarate's fortune was derived from a very successful 
practice as an influential lawyer famed for his oratorical 
ability. In politics he was a reformer rather than a 
separatist. In 1865 discontent in Cuba becoming ver>' 
great, the Spanish minister for the colonies, Antonio 
Canovas del Castillo, agreed to listen to a request for re- 
forms. On this mission Azcarate went to Spain as a mem- 
ber of the "Junta de Informacion" of which the veteran 
J. A. Saco was also a member. Little came of these efforts 
though Azcarate even founded at his own expense a news- 
paper, La I'oz del Siglo, to awaken public opinion in favor 
of reforms in the conduct of Cuban aflfairs. In Cuba dis- 
content continued to rise like the tide till it broke against 
the bar of official indifference and became open rebellion. 
Azcarate, however, maintained his attitude as a reformer 
so that on his return to Havana he was unable to regain 
either his popularity or his legal practice. His fortune of 
over a hundred thousand dollars having been spent it was 
necessary for him in his last years to earn his living as a 
government clerk. 

One of the forces which prepared the revolutionary out- 
break in Cuba was undoubtedly the type of education 
which the future leaders were receiving in their youth at 
the Colegio de El Salvador. This school was opened and 
maintained by a farsighted sagacious man to whom 
education was a passion, Jose de la Luz y Caballero (1800- 


62). Opened in 1848 for boys over twelve years of age, 
the school became immensely popular among the Cubans 
but not with the Spanish authorities who asserted that 
the director "was preparing the boys for conspiracy and 
the scaffold." Later they termed Luz "the patriarch 
of the Cuban revolution." But his pupils insisted that 
"Don Pepe," as they affectionately called their principal, 
never discoursed on politics. His influence had its strength 
in weekly lessons on morals which he gave the boys. He 
preached to them the virtue of manly energy, of firm 
resistance to every form of oppression and injustice, of 
self-sacrifice on the altar of duty. The Spaniards were 
probably right in seeing in this teaching a symbolism not 
unlike that which characterized the poems of Luaces 
when he sang the patriotism of Greeks and Poles. At any 
rate the leaders in the demand for independence testify 
to the value of the training they received. And regarding 
Luz y Caballero the Cubans declare that, "with Felix 
Varela he created in philosophy a local tradition which 
is one of the constituent elements of Cuban psy- 

Jose de la Luz did not live to see the outbreak of the 
great struggle which lasted for ten years. The signal 
for the revolt, since known as "el grito de Yara," was given 
at Yara in the eastern end of the island by a wealthy 
planter, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes (1819-74), on Octo- 
ber loth, 1868. His demands were for a recognition by 
Spain of equal rights for Creoles and peninsulars, the 
abolition of slavery with compensation for owners and 
the grant of universal suffrage. Long before the end of the 
war Cespedes was killed. In 1878 hostilities were ter- 

CUBA 409 

minated by a grant of general amnesty and a promise of a 
large measure of reforms in an agreement called the "pacto 
de Zanjon." 

The poet of this revolution, one of the foremost Cuban 
lyrists, was Juan Clemente Zenea (1832-71). Not only 
did he supply the symbolic poem suggesting the conditi(Ki 
of Cuba but for his active participation in affairs he was 
unjustly executed. The pathetic verses written during 
his imprisonment and published after his death became a 
monument to his memory. 

Zenea was born in Bayamo, the son of a native Cuban 
officer in the Spanish army, and Celestina Fornaris, older 
sister of the poet who sang the aboriginal Siboneyes. 
He was educated in that hotbed of conspiracy, the school 
directed by Jose de la Luz. At seventeen he began to 
write for the newspapers of Havana under the pen name 
of "Adolfo de la Azucena." At twenty he emigrated in 
haste because he was implicated in the publication of a 
revolutionan,' journal which the authorities saw fit to 
suppress. After arriving in New York he continued to 
write seditious articles. The impetuous youth sent one of 
these with his personal compliments to the Captain Gen- 
eral of Cuba, "thus insulting in the person of this au- 
thority the whole Spanish nation," according to the words 
of the decree of the council of war in Havana which on 
December 6th, 1853, condemned Zenea to death. Such 
a decree had probably for its real purpose the discourage- 
ment of the Cuban revolutionary junta then active in the 
United States. Two years later under the terms of the 
amnesty proclaimed by the new governor of Cuba, Zenea 
returned to Havana. Here he began to support himself 


by private teaching of French and Enghsh and by occa- 
sional journahstic work in prose and verse. 

In i860 he put forth a modest collection of his poems 
in a volume with the title, Cantos de la Tarde. The open- 
ing poem, Fidelia, immediately sprang into such popu- 
larity that the name became almost a sobriquet of the 
author. Curiosity as to whether the incidents constituted 
a real love story or an allegory lent it additional interest. 
A legend sprang up in Havana that "Fidelia" was a 
personification of Cuba. But there exists in Zenea's 
prose writings a passage that seems to contradict such an 
idea, at least in so far as it was his conscious purpose to 
write an allegory. The poem served, however, as a sym- 
bolic and pathetic picture of Cuba to those patriots who 
chose to regard it in that light. 

Very tenderly, in a manner reminiscent of De Musset, 
the poem opens with a relation of the vow which the poet 
and Fidelia made to love each other forever. Circum- 
stances separated them and he departed to foreign lands. 
Returning after ten years he found Fidelia a corpse. From 
the first hint of disaster which the refrain, 

Yd estoy triste y tu estas muerta! 

introduces into the first love scene, the pathetic note 
swells to a finale of despairing melancholy. 

The other poems in the Cantos de la Tarde are written 
with the same elegiac tone though not with the same per- 
fection of form. As Rafael Merchan says, "they are the 
echo as much of his own heart as of the distress of the 

In 1865 Zenea again went to New York to engage in 


CUBA 411 

a business enterprise. 1 hat tailing, he departed foi 
Mexico where he wrote for the daily papers. Hearing 
in 1868 of the outbreak of the insurrection under Cespedes 
the ardent patriot hastened to New York to join the liter- 
ary forces of the newly proclaimed Republic of Cuba and 
became an editor of La Revolucion. In 1870 the Spanish 
minister was induced to make secret overtures to President 
Cespedes who was then successfully maintaining his 
forces against the attacks of the Spanish soldiers. Zcnea 
against the advice of his friends volunteered to be the 
bearer of the message because he placed confidence in a 
safe-conduct given him by the Spanish minister in Wash- 
ington. He landed safely, visited Cespedes, and had re- 
turned to the coast when he was surprised by a Spanish 
patrol. Had it not been for the safe-conduct, the mes- 
sages and a sum of money in gold in his possession, he 
would have been immediately executed. However, he 
was sent to Havana where he was placed in the fortress 
la Cabafia. W hen news of his confinement reached Madrid 
an order to release him was telegraphed to the Captain 
General, Conde de Valmaseda. That official, alleging 
incriminating circumstances, paid no heed to the order. 
Moreover, he protracted the investigations for eight 
months until a crisis in the Spanish ministry occurred. 
Then a hastily conducted court-martial condemned Zenea 
to death. He was executed August 25, 1871. This bar- 
barous deed of Valmaseda's cost Spain twenty-five thou- 
sand dollars in indemnity to Zenea's widow. 

In the edition of Zenea's poems which his boyhood 
friend, Enrique Pirieyro, brought out in New York, the 
editor grouped four compositions under the heading En 


Dias de Esclavitud. He considered them to offer an adt 
quate idea of the man, the poet, and the patriot. The 
first part reveals Zenea's feelings upon leaving Havana, 
in 1865, where conditions made life unbearable. The 
second part, composed of earlier poems with the title 
Nociurno resembles in its pessimistic note his model De 
Musset. Then comes the beautiful hymn to the ocean 
which vies with, if it does not surpass, Heredia's. Zenea 
emphasizes the long period of time in which no ship sailed 
over the surface of the ocean and then demands why it 
did not pour forth its anger and drag into its depths the 
first Spanish caravels. The final section, written during 
the voyage to New York, terminates with a vision of a 
free Cuba when "a victorious people salutes the flag with 
the single star." 

After Zenea's execution there were published in Madrid 
the poems which he wrote in prison. Composed to while 
away the tedium of existence they form a remarkable 
human document, a record of trifling events as they 
aff"ected a sensitive mind. The title of the first poem, 
El 75 de enero en mi prisioji, refers to the anniversary of 
his marriage, formerly such a happy day but now, just 
as the storm overtakes the mariner sailing smoothly along, 
so disaster has come upon him and his family. The place 
of his confinement was open on one side to the sky so that 
one day he was able to see a swallow as it flitted back and 
forth. To the swallow then he committed a message to 
his wife and daughter with the wish that he too might fly 

His thoughts recurred so often to his daughter Piedad, 
that not only did he inscribe her name in several places 

CUBA 413 

on the walls of his cell but he mentioned her in a majority 
of these dozen poems. One day he recollects the story 
books which she used to read. Another day he promises 
that, if anybody will have pity on his poor orphan child, 
he will come from his tomb and thank, him. Again he 
explains to his wife why he did not say good-bye to the 
child when he left home; so he requests her to tell the 
little girl that he had gone away thus for the sake of not 
seeing her en,-, but later he would embrace her in heaven. 

His wife Zenea addresses more directly in poems which 
concern the happiness of former days. One evening a ray 
of moonlight straggled into his cell. He remembers 
wandering with his adored and listening with her on 
many similar nights to the song of the nightingale without 
a presentiment of such dreadful change. Another evening 
echoes of a woman's voice singing in the apartments of 
the prison commander floated to his ears. He knows that 
song. "Do you remember," he asks his wife, "how once 
at the piano you told me in the same words the mysteries 
of the soul.''" Finally he bids his wife meet him in heaven. 
"Do not forget me!" he cries; and he warns her that if 
she fails to pray God for his soul, his ghost will return to 
beseech her not to forget him but to remember him night 
and day. 

The ablest journalistic champion of the revolution of 
1868 was Rafael Merchan (1844-1905). From an article 
of his with the caption Laboremus was derived the name 
"laborante" commonly applied, at first by the Spaniards, 
to the Cuban revolutionaries. In Cuba a "comite labor- 
ante" directed the affairs of the revolution. In the United 
States a "sociedad de laborantes cubanos" was organized 


in many cities. Periodicals entitled El Lahorante came 
into existence in Cuba and Santo Domingo. And a defense 
of the insurrectionists in the form of a novel was published 
in 1872 with the title Escenas de la Revolucion de Cuba: 
Los Labor antes by "H. Goodman." Its author who thus 
concealed his name is unknown. 

Merchan, under sentence of death by the Spanish 
authorities, found refuge in New York where he edited the 
journal La Revolucion in 1871. In the same year he put 
forth an important pamphlet on the situation, La Honra 
de Espana en Cuba. Three years later he was invited to go 
to Colombia, his father's birthplace, to act as secretary of 
a railroad company. In Bogota he continued to live for 
many years and became a prominent figure there in the 
world of letters. His critical articles on literature, his 
prose version of Longfellow's Evangeline, and his poems 
of a metaphysical character made his name widely known. 
Nor did he forget his beloved Cuba, for he strove con- 
stantly with his pen to influence in her favor the public 
opinion of the rest of Spanish America. 

In 1890 when the Cuban question was again becoming 
acute even the leading Spanish review, Espana Moderna, 
opened its pages to Merchan's articles. His point of view 
that "we make war because we desire to be independent, 
not because we hate Spaniards" seemed at least reasonable 
to open-minded men in Spain. When the revolution came 
in 1895, Merchan wrote several pamphlets in justification 
of the Cuban cause which were translated and published 
in London and New York for the purpose of influencing 
public opinion. 

When independence was won the Cuban Republic re- 



mcmbcrcd Mcrchan's services by sending; him as her 
ambassador to France and Spain in 1902. Unfortunately 
his health, undermined by hard work, was unequal to tin- 
strain and he hail to come home to die after a short period. 
Cuba pnivuied his widow with a pension. 

Another literary champion of the revolution was En- 
rique Pincyro (1S39-1911). In his school days he was 
a favorite pupil of Luz y Caballero who had such faith 
in his ability that he left him money by will to enable 
him to pursue his studies in Europe. And it has been said 
that for his complete assimilation of the spirit of that 
educator Pineyro has a right to be considered as the 
typical pupil, the glory of his school. 

Pineyro's reputation in the future will rest on his many 
excellent essays in literary history, but as a revolutionary 
his activity consisted in the practice of delivering lectures 
to groups of Cuban refugees. To the Rcvista cubana he 
contributed articles combining literary history with bi- 
ographj' from which the reader could derive by the in- 
spiration of example fresh determination and patriotic 

His most important work of this sort was a biographical 
account of Jose Morales Lemus (1808-70). This man 
established, 1863, in Havana a newspaper. El Siglo, which 
espoused the cause of reforms in Cuba. A reform party 
ver>' soon sprung up to which the Spanish government 
paid enough heed to call a conference with representative 
Cubans, since known as the "junta de informacion." 
Morales Lemus, .Azcarate and the venerable Saco were 
elected among others as members of the junta to speak for 
the island. As nothing came of these efforts Morale.* 


Lemus returned to Cuba greatly disappointed. Instead 
of reforms the Spanish government levied a new and heavy 
income tax which increased the discontent. The con- 
spiracies and uprisings in Spain itself possibly acted by 
suggestion in 1868 to start the flame in Cuba. Morales 
Lemus left the island to take up his residence in New York 
and Washington. When the Cuban insurrectionists estab- 
lished a provisional government, their president, Cespedes, 
appointed Morales Lemus envoy plenipotentiary to the 
new American administration of General Grant. American 
public opinion was so favorably inclined toward Cuban 
aspirations for independence that the House of Represent- 
atives passed a resolution recognizing the Cuban rebels 
as belligerents. In the summer of 1869 President Grant 
appointed Daniel E. Sickles a special commissioner to 
Spain to propose a plan, which Morales Lemus had had 
a part in formulating, to the effect that Spain should grant 
Cuba independence in return for a large indemnity to be 
paid by Cuba under the guarantee of the United States. 
The Spanish government, however, was able to protract 
the diplomatic maneuvers until the matter fell through. 
Moreover, Morales Lemus' special friend in Grant's cab- 
inet. General Rawlins, Secretary of War, died in Septem- 
ber. Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State, was afraid of 
possible hostilities with Spain and paid no further atten- 
tion to the Cuban envoy, and in June of the following 
year Morales Lemus died. 

The spiritual aid of such biographies as this appears to 
have been great. And the short biography was Piiieyro's 
specialty. In putting before the Cubans the lives of their 
heroic fellow countrymen and of other persons who fought 

cruA 417 

Spain like San Martin and IJoHvar, he performed an im- 
portant service to the cause of Cuban independence. 
During his later years he H\ ed mainly in Paris and wrote 
on topics connected with literar>' history, such as his 
excellent Romanticismo tn Espana. Whatever Pineyro 
has written is worth reading, not only for the scholarly 
care for truth and fullness of detail which he displays, but 
also for the sobriety, terseness and interest of his style. 

The ten years' war having been brought to an end by the 
pact of Zanjon and a general amnesty declared by the 
Captain General Arsenio Martinez Campos, peace pre- 
vailed in Cuba. The literary production of the next few 
years may be followed in the Revista de Cuba, established 
by Jose Antonio Cortina in 1877 with the avowed inten- 
tion of "keeping free from party quarrels and aspiring to 
reflect in its pages the intellectual movement of this 
island." Though Cortina was a patriot who had suffered 
imprisonment in 1869 for printing an address by Antonio 
Bachiller y Morales, he rightly concluded that the time 
was a period for recuperation. , In his review consequently 
appeared nothing which reflected on Spanish rule. As 
Cortina was a man of literary good taste the influence 
which he exercised on the contributors who met at evening 
for the reading and discussion of prospective articles and 
poems was pronounced. 

The poetr}'- at this time, as generally in the Spanish- 
speaking worid, was influenced by the Germanistic spirit. 
In Cuba the brothers Antonio Sellen (1840-88) and Fran- 
cisco SellCn (1838-1907) wrote a multitude of verses both 
original and translations. Francisco Sellen had been sent 
by the Spanish authorities to Spain as a prisoner for taking 


part in the insurrection. He escaped from prison, however, 
and found refuge for a while in Germany. WTien he re- 
turned to America he brought with him translations of Ger- 
man poets which he published as Ecos del Rin. Later he 
made metrical translations of such diverse works as 
Goethe's Faust, Heine's Intermezzo lirico and Byron's 
Giaour, of which the last two appeared in the Revista 
Cubana. His numerous original poems evinced a love of 
tropic nature with a strain of pessimism toward life which 
rang true in certain patriotic lines. His greatest effort 
was Hatuey, a dramatic poem vying with Fomaris' Cantos 
de Siboney in depicting aboriginal life. For a time Fran- 
cisco Sellen's copiousness made him the leading Cuban 
poet, but his popularity soon suffered eclipse. 

The special form of poem known by the German name 
of "lied," which had been introduced into Spanish liter- 
ature through imitation of Heine and Gustavo Becquer, 
appealed to Cuban poets and was successfully practiced 
by a group of young men composed of Esteban Borrero 
Echeverria, Jose Varela, Aurelio Mityans, Diego Vicente 
Tejera, and Enrique J. Varona. They took full advantage 
of the fact that the anecdotal character of the lied lent 
itself to the presentation of stirring tales from revolution- 
ary history. 

Aurelio Mityans (1863-89) as a measure of precaution 
concealed his identity by signing his pictures of pitiable 
sufferings from Spanish outrages "El Camagueyano." 
As a student of Cuban literature he had in preparation 
at the time of his premature death a book which his 
friends published in spite of its fragmentary condition as 
Estudio sobre el movimiento cientifico y liter ario de Cuba, 1890. 



Dicpo Vicente Tejcra (i 848-1903) excelled in rcndtrinR 
the tropical Cuban landscape flooded with sunlight, 
suggestive of the noonday siesta in the shade of a rustic 
hut. His best descriptive pieces. En la Ilamaca and El 
Desp^rtar dt- Cuba, were written as niemfiries of home during 
his campaigning in \'enezuela with the /larty in rebellion 
against Guzman Blanco. His love lyrics in imitation of 
Heine to the collection of which he gave the name Un 
Ramo de VioUtas, were printed in 1878. His original 
"lieder," narratives in rhyme, were intended to inspire 
sympathy for those Cubans who fought against Spanish 
authority. He translated the verses of a Hungarian poet 
with the title of Cuentos Madgiares because the conditions 
of the Hungarian rebels described in them applied to Cuba. 
In other poems, La Muerte de Pldcido, Al Ideal de la 
Independencia de Cuba, La Estrt-lla solitaria, the patriotic 
appeal was more direct, and reached a climax in Esperando, 
1890. In this poem beginning "Yacen alli . . ." the dead 
who have already given their lives for Cuban independence 
are represented as lying impdtient in their graves, im- 
patient to hear the echoes of a new struggle and the trium- 
phant cheers of a people who have won their freedom. 

At the time of the revolution of 1895 Tejera was active 
among the Cuban refugees in the United States trying to 
organize a socialist party. The failure of this effort cut 
him off from the group of men who led the revolution and 
the reward which its success brought to men like his former 
associate Enrique Jose Varona (b. 1849) vice-president of 
the Cuban Republic, 191 2-16. 

Enrique Jose Varona's most important poems were 
printed 1879 in a volume whose title, Paisajes cubanos, is 


descriptive of the nature of the contents. The poems 
range in character from the poetic narration of episodes 
in the ten years' war to symbolistic Hnes on Cuba. Dos 
Voces en la Sombra, for example, is a dialogue between the 
poet and the soul of Cuba. Bajo la Capa del Cielo and 
El Tango are filled with patriotic and nationalistic inspira- 
tion. After 1880 verse writing occupied but little of his 
attention. On the other hand, the name of Enrique Jose 
Varona has been associated during his time with almost 
every intellectual movement in Cuba. 

First of all as a teacher of philosophy, interpreting the 
system of Herbert Spencer to the Cuban people, he con- 
tinued the intellectual tradition of Varela and Luz. Like 
them he made use of his philosophical teaching to in- 
culcate in his pupils a desire for freedom. When after the 
death of J. A. Cortina he became the editor of the review 
to which he had so often contributed he found ample 
opportunity for his peculiar form of separatist propaganda. 

Varona signalized his assumption of the editorship of 
the review, 1885, by changing its name to Revista Cubana. 
The first number announced that it would "be merely the 
continuation of the Revista de Cuba. To present a picture 
as faithful as possible of the state of our culture, offering 
a neutral field to all opinions in order to keep alive Cuban 
sentiment against the discouragements of the present 
moment, is the first of its objects." The emphasis was 
laid more and more on the part of this program referring 
to the keeping alive of Cuban sentiment. 

Varona's method of fostering nationalistic sentiment is 
well illustrated by an oration which he delivered and re- 
printed in the review, on such an unsuggestive topic as 

CUHA 421 

El Potrta anonimo dtr la Polonia. To his audience thr 
dcscriptit>n of Poland was a picture of suffering Cuba. 
With similar purpose he printed a remarkable article, 
El Bandolerismo en Cuba, attempting to prove that crime 
scarcely existed among the native population of Cuba but 
was confmcd to persons of Spanish birth. In 1891 he 
published a volume entitled Articulos y Discursos which 
for the character of its contents was almost the program 
of a revolutionary party. Each article treated some idea 
connected with the political or economic situation in Cuba. 
Four years later broke out the final and successful Cuban 
revolution which solved these problems in the manner 
hinted by Varona, namely, by independence. 

Before the actual outbreak the Rcvista Cubana was 
obliged to suspend publication. Its utterances became 
bolder and bolder so that finally one number was seized 
and suppressed by the authorities. Varona found it 
advisable to seek refuge in New York. There he became 
an invaluable member of the literary cohorts fighting for 
Cuban independence by his editing of the journal La 
Patria, by his addresses to Cuban refugees, and by rev- 
olutionary tracts. One of the latter translated into 
English, Cuba against Spain, was widely circulated. It was 
a terrible arraignment supported by facts and figures of 
the frauds and thefts committed by the Spanish bureau- 
cracy in the administration of insular affairs. In addition 
he showed that the system of voting introduced as a sup- 
posed reform after the pact of Zanjon was such a farce 
that only Spaniards or known Spanish sympathizers were 
allowed to vote. 

After the Spaniards withdrew from Cuba, Varona was 


appointed Secretary of Public Instruction during the first 
North American intervention. Then followed a period 
in which he took no part in politics. This was piarked 
by the publication of books on philosophy made up of 
lectures previously delivered and of a collection of essays 
on literature, Desde mi Belvedere. At the time of the 
second North American intervention he became a leader 
of the consei-v'ative party and in 191 2 was elected Vice- 
president of the Republic of Cuba, a fitting honor for one 
who had devoted so much of his youthful energies to its 

During Varona's editorship of the Revista Cuhana, 
many writers assisted him in carrying out his policies. 
One of the oldest men enlisted was Antonio Bachiller y 
Morales (1812-89). He w^as one of those natural scholars 
whose learning increases with their years, and who retain 
their mental vigor to the end. Due to the universality 
of his studies his published essays embrace almost every 
field. He even began his career with a few verses like the 
other students who came under Del Monte's influence. 
As a professor in the university, however, his intellectual 
interests led him away from poetry. His most important 
work will always be considered the Apuntes para la His- 
toria de las Letras en Cuba, which is quite as much a his- 
tory of education in Cuba as of the production of litera- 
ture. During the ten years' war he was obliged for his 
journalistic activity to emigrate to New York. His most 
valuable work there was an edition of Heredia's poems. 

It was by articles on Heredia, on Placido, on Cuban 
literature in general, with special emphasis on features 
antagonistic to Spanish rule, that the Revista Cubana 



maintained its policy of chcrishinp a nationalistic Cuban 
sentiment. As time went on its articles became more 
directly political in character, such as a discussion of tin 
aspirations of the Cuban liberal party by F. A. Conte, a 
history of the filibustering expeditii)n of Narciso Lopez 
with all its revolutionary implications by the Conde de 
Pozos Dulces, the chapters from Saco's Ilistoria df la 
Esclavitud which dealt with the iniquities of the slave 
trade in Cuba. Enrique Pineyro contributed a sketch of 
the history of the United States during the struggles over 
the slaver}- question and the campaign resulting in the 
election of Abraham Lincoln. The review- of books such 
as the biographies of Felix V^arela and of Jose de la Luz 
by Jose Ignacio Rodriguez offered another opportunity 
for the preaching of the Cuban ideal. 

Books began to reinforce the revolutionar}' propaganda. 
Almost epoch-making was A pie y descaho, 1S90, by 
Ramon Roa, the record of a journey which the author 
had made through the regions devastated by the military 
operations of the Spaniards during the early years of the 
ten years' war. As the author had been a lieutenant 
colonel and adjutant secretary to Generals Ignacio Agra- 
monte and Maximo Gomez he could unfold tales of desti- 
tution and distress well calculated to harrow up the soul 
of his readers. With the same object was written Epi- 
sodios de la Revolucion cubana, by Manuel de la Cruz 
(1861-96), and his Cromitos Cubanos, short sketches of 
prominent fellow countrymen. He contributed articles 
also to the Revista Cubana. Likewise Ram6n Meza wrote 
articles on literature and published books. These were 
novels picturing social conditions, Mi Tio el Empleado 


and D. Aniceto el Tendero. To Meza we are indebted foi 
a sympathetic account of Julian del Casal. 

Of all the contributors to the Revista Cubana the edi- B 
tor's right hand man was Manuel Sanguily, most vigorous •" 
and active. Finally, to throw off all restraint he estab- g- 
lished just before the outbreak of the revolution of 1895, w\ 
a journal with the innocuous title, Hojas Literarias, which 
during its year of existence had some of its numbers sup- | 
pressed, surely not merely for discourses on literature. • 

One of his first contributions to the Revista Cubana was 
Los Oradores de Cuba. The discussion of each man's 
oratorical ability was a peg on which to hang the account 
of his services for Cuba. If he wrote of Heredia's poetry, 
he exalted the revolutionary ideal. From Sanguily's 
first appearance there was scarcely a number of the re- 
view without something from his pen. 

But all these brave words would have been fruitless I 
without somebody to incite men to action. This man was " 

Jose Marti to whose efforts more than to any other single 
individual Cuban independence was due. To this object 
from the age of sixteen he devoted with a fervor rarely 
equaled in any cause, both his life and a gift of speech 
seldom g^en to mortals. Whatever other title may be 
conferred on him there is one uniquely his, the "Apostle" 
of Cuban independence. 

Jose Marti (1853-95), was the son of an officer of ar- 
tillery in the Spanish army. He attended the school of 
which the poet Mendive was the principal. From him 
it is likely that Marti absorbed some of his revolutionary 
ideas, just as the spectacle of his beloved teacher in prison 
embittered his spirit. Marti and another pupil used 




daily w csct^rt Mendive's wife to the prison on lur visits 
to her husband before his deportation. Marti himself 
was arrested as a conspirator at the age of sixteen and 
deported to Spain, but he was permitted to study law 
during his five years' sojourn. In 1873 he went to Mexico 
where he married. In 1878, he returned to Cuba osten- 
sibly to practice law but in reality to engage in conspiracy 
which developed into the brief period of hostilities known 
as the "guerra chiquita." Marti was arrested and again 
deported to Spain. He escaped, however, to France, 
from where by way of New York he went to Venezuela, 
but by 1 88 1 he was back in New^ York. For the next 
eight years he earned his living by work at various Spanish- 
American consulates, by articles for La Nacion of Buenos 
Aires and criticisms on art for the Nezv York Sun. He 
even published two little volumes of poems, one, Ismaelilloy 
the out-pourings of a father's heart in joy over his son, 
the other, Versos Sencillos, a collection of love lyrics. In 
18S9 at a banquet of Spanish Americans he made a speech 
which he terminated with this peroration: "Those who 
have a country', let them honor it; those who have not, 
let them conquer one." 

The press report of this speech was such that the 
Spanish government protested to the Argentine Republic 
against Marti's employment at her consulship. From 
that hour Marti was free to devote his whole time to the 
propaganda against Spain. He became the "Apostle" 
preaching Cuban independence to Cubans, wherever he 
could find an audience. He went to Florida to work 
among the colonies of refugees in the cigar factories of 
Key West and Tampa. Ever>'where among the working- 


men he received an enthusiastic welcome, and at his sug- 
gestion the organization of revolutionary clubs went on 
apace. In 1892 Marti definitely launched the "Partido 
Revolucionario Cubano" with a program expressed in 
writing so that its purposes could be positively known and 
open to discussion. Among the more well-to-do Cubans 
Marti had to overcome much opposition, which was 
summed up in the sarcasm, "Mas machetes! Pobre 

But the enrollment of volunteers and the collections 
of money and arms continued to increase. It was neces- 
sary to find military leaders. He sought out the veteran 
generals Cebreco, Maceo, and Maximo G5mez and se- 
cured the promise of their support. Marti's description 
of his visit to the latter's home in Santo Domingo where 
he was comfortably living with his family on an estate 
in the country is one of the finest things from his pen. 
Finally on February 24, 1895, the cry of revolution was 
raised in the province of Santiago. In April, Marti and 
Maximo Gomez landed in Cuba. A month later Marti, 
who was now considered the president of the new Cuban 
republic, set out to leave the island. With a small escort 
he was surprised by a detachment of Spanish soldiers, 
and fell mortally wounded at the first discharge. This 
occurred at a locality known as Boca de Dos Rios, on 
May 19th, 1895. The work for which Marti had given 
his life resulted in the emancipation of Cuba from Spanish 

Marti's literary work has been published in several 
volumes by his friend, Gonzalo de Quesada. It consists 
mainly of speeches and articles written for various papers. 

CUBA 427 

Its value lies in the remarkable qualities of his style. He 
possessed the secret of contrast with the expert journal- 
ist's ability to select details with dramatic value and the 
artist's eye for color and harmony. If one wishes to 
know, for example, what the streets and parades in New 
York were like at the time of the formal acceptance of 
Bartholdi's statue of liberty, he should read Marti's ac- 
count sent to La Nacion of Buenos Aires. It would lose 
little in translation, for its vivid picturesqueness is based 
on fact. On the other hand, the fluent rhythm of his 
speeches can hardly be rendered in translation. At times 
he speaks in metaphors which are difficult to follow on 
account of their depth of thought. Rarely, however, 
does he fall into the merely flowery eloquence which is 
so characteristic of many Spanish Americans. His 
tremendous earnestness and dignity are always apparent. 
In these respects the introductory^ paragraph of his pref- 
ace to Perez Bonalde's poem on Niagara ^ is a charac- 
teristic gem from Marti's tongue. 

The man's wonderful talent has nowhere been more 
vividly described than in this statement by Diego V. 
Tejera: "He who has never heard Marti in a moment of 
confidential intimacy does not realize the full power of 
the fascination of which human speech is capable." 

Of the two movements which have affected the liter- 
atures of all countries at the end of the nineteenth centur\', 
the modemista development in poetry and the vogue of 
the naturalistic novel Cuba took but small share on ac- 
count of the absorption of her sons in political interests. 
However, it must not be forgotten that in Julian del Casal 
' Sec page 320. 


(1863-93) she had the honor of giving to the world one of 
the most important precursors of modernista verse. 
His adaptation of certain exotic forms to the genius of the 
Spanish language are clearly evident to the students of 
the movement. Had Casal lived longer he might have 
shared with Ruben Dario the latter's fame, for the admira- 
tion of the two poets for each other's work and their 
reciprocal influence is evident. 

In the naturalistic novel Jesus Castellanos (i 879-191 2) 
was just beginning to show the possibilities of Cuban life 
when his career was cut short by death. In La Tierra 
adentro he depicted in a series of short stories and sketches 
Cuban rural life. But he reached artistic perfection in a 
tale published separately from that collection, La Manigua 
sentimental. The title was taken from the Cuban name 
given to the rough woodland country in eastern and 
central Cuba where the last revolution was mainly fought. 
Critics agree that his observations of life in that region at 
that epoch are most exact. At the time of his death 
Castellanos was rapidly becoming the literary leader of 
Cuba. His critical articles on literature were eagerly 
read. In 191 2 with the Dominican Max Henriquez Ureiia 
he organized La Sociedad de Conferencias which since then 
has continued to work for the furtherance of Cuban lit- 
erature by means of public lectures. 

Since the winning of political independence Cuba's 
material prosperity has grown by leaps and bounds. There 
can be no doubt that in the future Cuba will maintain her 
literary fame. At present the periodicals published in the 
island equaJ if they do not surpass in literary qualities 
those of any other nation. Take, for example, the beau- 



tifully illustrated Figaro, long conducted by the poet 
Manuel S. Pichardo; Cuba y Amc-rica, whose purpose is 
"the regeneration of Cuban culture," and whose editor, 
Salvador Salazar, is an enthusiastic student of literature; 
or the scholarly monthly Cuba Cont^mpordnca, directed 
by Carlos deVelasco, which is doing an unsurpassed service 
for the study of Cuban literature. The famous organ of 
the ancient society, Los Amigos del Pais, entitled La 
Rtvista bim^strc- cubana, has also been revived. 

The centenaries of certain beloved poets. La Avellaneda 
and Milancs, have recently given opportunity to foster the 
love of literature. The prize for the poem in celebration 
of La Avellaneda's birth was awarded in 1914 to Dona 
Dulce Maria Borrero de Lujan who for some years has 
been Cuba's reigning poetess. 

Her name appeared in an anthology, Arpas ciibanas, 
published in 1904. which in a certain degree fixes a date 
for the regeneration of Cuban verse after the war for 
independence. The poems it contained were those of 
living poets whose names were' too numerous to mention 
here. The collection contained also two sonnets by a poet, 
Enrique Hernandez Miyares (1859-1914), whose life 
covered the period of transition from colonial to free Cuba. 
His first work appeared in the Revista cubana and he was 
an intimate friend of Julian del Casal. 

The two sonnets A un Machete and La mas Fermosa 
typify the old and the new Cuba. The first, written in 
1892 when the revolutionary agitation was becoming 
acute, presents the poet coming by chance upon a rusty 
machete, which though it had spilled Spanish blood in an 
attempt at redemption, was now lying forgetful of pa- 


triotism, idle and a coward. The other sonnet, La mas 
Fermosa, pubHshed in 1903, has been called the most 
beautiful sonnet written in Cuba. Certainly it voices the 
spirit of determination so characteristic of Cuban patriots 
as well as the idealization of the Cuban attitude toward 
the future. 

Keep on, O knight! With lance uplifted ride. 
To punish every wrong by righteous deed; 
For constancy at last shall gain its meed. 
And justice ever with the law abide. 
Mambrino's broken helmet don with pride, 
Advance undaunted on thy glorious steed. 
To Sancho Panza's cautions pay no heed. 
In destiny and thy right arm confide. 
At Fortune's coy reserve display no fear; 
For should the Cavalier of the White Moon 
With arms 'gainst thine in combat dare appear. 
Although by adverse fate thou art o'erthrown. 
Of Dulcinea even in death's hour swear 
That she will always be the only fair.'^ 

^ Version of Alfred Coester. 



Santo Domingo is the Spanish-speaking repuhhc sit- 
uated in the southern half of the island of which the negro 
republic of Haiti, where French is spoken, is the northern 
half. Mountain ranges in the interior form a natural 
barrier between the two. The whole island was named by 
Columbus Isla Hispaniola or Spanish Island. The ab- 
original name Quisqueya supplies a poetical appellation 
to a region whose unhappy history is rich in material for 

Columbus considered this island the chief discovery of 
his first voyage, for there he found gold in abundance. As 
the natives were of a friendly disposition he selected it as 
the site of the first Spanish settlement in the New World. 
But the record of the colony forms a sad page in history. 
And to the present day fate has evilly treated the dwellers 
in this island so blessed by nature. 

In 1795 the possession of the whole island passed to the 
French. In consequence an emigration of the Spanish 
families set in which materially increased when the blacks 
in Haiti after 1801 were ravaging the land with arson and 
murder. By 1821 the Haytians were in complete control. 

Then began a hard struggle by the Spanish whites to 
avoid annihilation. They found a leader in Juan Pablo 
Duarte (1813-73). Educated in Spain he trained the 



people to resist negro domination and to cling to their 
Spanish tongue. For this purpose he imported and dis- 
tributed Spanish books. No less important was their 
training in arms, for by 1844 the Spanish element suc- 
ceeded in freeing themselves and in setting up the Domin- 
ican Republic. * 

The University of Santo Domingo, founded in 1558, had 
during the colonial period been instrumental in maintain- 
ing in the colony a higher degree of culture than that which 
existed in the other Antilles. Students from them re- 
sorted to Santo Domingo. Consequently when the 
emigration occurred it carried to Puerto Rico, Cuba and 
Venezuela elements which assisted in raising the intellec- 
tual tone in those countries. The great Cuban poet, ^ 
Heredia, and the patron of Cuban letters, Domingo del 
Monte, were children of families from the unhappy isle. 
The same is true of Narciso Foxa and his brother Francisco 
J. Foxa, one of the first dramatic poets of Cuba. Francisco 
Muiioz del Monte (1800-68), cousin of Domingo del 
Monte, contributed verses to the literary movement of the 
thirties in Cuba which are worthy of being remembered, 
especially his elegy A la Muerte de Heredia and his interest- 
ing evocation of the hot season, El Verano en la Habana. 

The intellectual leader of the republic established in 
1844 was Felix Maria del Monte (1819-99). His national 
hymn remains as an echo of the bitter struggle against the 
Haytians. Other poems of his likewise were inspired by 
personal experience or by the course of events as his Arpa 
del Proscrito, dedicated to Nicolas Ureiia de Mendoza 
(1822-75). The latter in the manner of the Cuban Velez 
y Herrera composed verses in description of the life of the 


guajiros of his native island. Of the same aRc Felix Mota 
(1S22-61), shot by the Spaniards among other patriots 
who opposed their reoccupation of Santo Domingo, wrote 
poems suggestive of Milanes. 

The period of peace after 1S44 was too troubled for 
extensive literary production. In 1S61 Dominican leaders 
then in power thought to fiml protection from the Ilay- 
tians by asking Spain for re-annexation as a colony. Spain 
sent a few regiments of soldiers to maintain her authority, 
but in 1866 she practically abandoned the island by with- 
drawing the soldiers. The Dominican Republic was re- 
established, but not until 1S73 did political conditions 
allow settled order and progress. 

Among those who returned to the island after the de- 
parture of the Spaniards was Javier Angulo Guridi (1816- 
84), a former colonel in the patriot army. During his exile 
he had engaged in journalism in various countries, notably 
in Venezuela, where he appears to have been strongly in- 
fluenced by the group of poets finding inspiration in 
Indian life. Though he had the distinction of being the 
first Dominican poet to see his verses collected in a volume, 
Ensayos pohicos, in 1843, his best poems and prose tales 
treat Indian legends, as his Iguanioyia which he also 
arranged as a drama, in 1867. 

Tales of Indian life and the relations of the natives with 
the first settlers became the popular subjects of literary 
art during the decade of the seventies. But interest in 
literature was made possible by a remarkable movement 
for education and culture in which the poetess Dona 
Salome Urefia (1850-97), daughter of Nicolas Urena de 
Mendoza was a prominent figure. She began publishing 


poems in praise of the ideals of peace and progress. A 
society, Los Amigos del Pais, was founded to promote the 
interests of the country along such lines, and in 1878 the 
society presented to the poetess a gold medal and pub- 
lished an edition of her poems. In 1880 she married 
Francisco Henriquez y Carvajal (b. 1859). The same 
year there came to Santo Domingo one of the remark- 
able thinkers of Spanish America, Eugenio M. Hostos, 
who as principal of the Escuela Normal introduced into 
the island a knowledge of modern pedagogical methods. 
Writing his own texts for his classes, he performed for 
Santo Domingo much the same service as Andres Bello 
for Chile. Dona Salome Ureiia de Henriquez aided the 
movement by founding the first school for young ladies, 
which she directed for many years. From this time her 
poems were echoes of her home life in which vibrated the 
strong feelings of wife and mother. 

In the volume of her poems printed in 1878, the legend 
Anacaona, on an Indian topic, showed her interest in the 
popular trend in literature. Her one rival in the field of 
poetry, Jose Joaquin Perez (i 845-1900), vies with the 
Uruguayan Zorrilla de San Martin for the primacy of 
excellence in Spanish-American literary evocation of na- 
tive life. His first poem of this type, Quisqueyana, bears 
the date of his return to Santo Domingo, 1874, after 
years of exile in Venezuela. Of the same year was the 
beautiful Vuelta al Hogar, an intense cry of joy at being 
again in his native land. In 1877 he published the volume 
entitled Fantasias Indigenas to which Perez mainly owes 
his fame. These were short narrative poems, perpetuat- 
ing the memory of the aborigines of Santo Domingo, the 


best of which were El f'oto dc Jnacaona and Guarionex. 
El J unco verde relates the impression which was produced 
on Columbus and his crew by the sight of a green ncd, the 
first sign of land. At the same time Perez was deeply 
interested in the movement for better educational facili- 
ties in the island and voiced it in his poem Ilimno al 
Progreso dd Pais written in the style of Doiia Salome. 
Later when the modernista manner was attracting the 
young men of Spanish America, Perez showed his versa- 
tility by adopting it in Jmericanas, a series of poems called 
forth by his sympathy for the Cubans during the rebellion 
of 1895. 

In prose the interest in Dominican life and histor>' 
produced Bani Eyigracia y Antoiiita, a story full of in- 
tense local color by Francisco Gregorio Billini (1S44-98), 
and the historical tales of Cesar Nicolas Penson (1855- 
1902), entitled Cosas ailejas. Of similar inspiration was 
the long historical novel Enriquillo by Manuel de Jesus 
Galvan (1834-1911), published in 18S2, but written a few 
years before. In both the style and the interest of the 
subject-matter Enriquillo is one of the very best historical 
novels that have been written by a Spanish American. 
It depicts the early colonial period in Hispaniola at the 
termination of the administration of the governor Ovando, 
and the beginning of that of Diego Colon, the Admiral's 
son. The arrival of Diego Colon with his bride, Maria de 
Toledo, in 1509 forms an interesting episode. The friar 
Bartolome de las Casas, the famous champion of human 
rights for the oppressed natives, also appears in its pages. 
Their grievances and last rebellion under the young cacique 
whose Christian name was Enriquillo compose much of 


the narrative and make it the foremost work of Spanish- 
American literary art in prose which deals with the Ufe 
of the American savages. 

Of the generation of men who took active part in the 
upbuilding of culture in Santo Domingo should be men- 
tioned Federico Henriquez y Carvajal (b. 1848), now 
chief justice of the supreme court. Though as a journalist 
in early life he wrote verses and even dramas, of which 
one, La Hija del Hebreo, was produced on the stage, he 
distinguished himself as a professor in the normal school 
established by Hostos and in other educational institu- 
tions. In Cuba, he is gratefully remembered for the 
assistance which he rendered the patriots of the revolu- 
tions of 1868 and 1895. After the close of the ten years* \ 
war, Maximo Gomez and other Cuban leaders found 
refuge in Santo Domingo. And during his propaganda 
in favor of a fresh attempt at independence, Jose Marti 
received hearty assistance there. Among Marti's writings 
there is no more glowing page than that which describes 
his visit to Maximo Gomez in Santo Domingo in 1893, 
and his welcome by various Dominicans. From there 
also with their assistance Marti and Gomez set out for 
Cuba to raise the cry at Baira that precipitated Cuba's 
final and successful revolution. Marti's letter to Federico 
Henriquez y Carvajal, dated Montecristy, March, 1895, 
on the eve of his departure, has been called his "political 

Of the fruits of the educational movement in Santo 
Domingo, the literar>' activity of her sons and daughters 
since the beginning of the new century give ample testi- 
mony. Of the older generation Emilio Prud'homme is 


distinpiiishccl for his national anthem adoptid in 1H97. 
In proso, Kcderico C>arcia Godoy has lonj; been a leading 
literar)' critic, while his historical novels Ru/inito, Alma 
Dominicana, and the recent Guanuma, 191 5, give realistic 
pictures of the Dominican struggles for independence. 
The author's purpose in his writings has been to awaken 
a strong feeling of nationality. Guanuma, the name of 
the locality where the soldiers camped, is in the words (jf 
the author, "a synthetic name which sums up the second 
part of the campaign which put an end to the annexation 
by the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from Dominican 
territory once more independent through the tenacity and 
heroism of her sons." 

Of a younger generation were the poets Gaston F. De- 
ligne (1861-1913), Rafael A. Deligne (1863-1902), and 
Arturo Pellerano Castro (b. 1865), whose elegant verses 
deserve to be more widely known. As a writer of prose 
Americo Lugo (b. 1871) has attracted attention by 
his articles on sociological and critical topics and fan- 
tastic tales, some of which have been collected in the 
volume entitled A Punto largo. 

To the modemista movement, Santo Domingo con- 
tributed Fabio Fiallo (b. 1865), who has made himself 
widely known in Spanish America for his tales in both 
prose and verse. Tulio M. Cestero (b. 1877) was at first 
one of the most extravagant modernistas, but his writings 
now found in La Rcvista de Ami-rica and other reviews 
show a considerable modification of his early style. 
Manuel F. Cestero has also produced excellent work as a 
journalist and writer of tales. 

The educational work so diligently fostered by Dona 


Salome Urena de Henriquez has done marvels for culture 
in Santo Domingo. Through her sons, Pedro Henriquez 
Urena (b. 1884), and Max Henriquez Ureiia (b. 1885), 
she has enriched the intellectual life of Spanish America. 
The scene of Max Henriquez Urefia's activity has been 
Cuba where in company with Jesus Castellanos he founded 
the Sociedad de Conferencias. His lectures before that 
society and his many articles on literary topics have 
greatly furthered the knowledge of literary history. His 
recent volume of poems, Anforas, testifies to his inherited 
ability in writing pleasing and musical verses. 

Pedro Henriquez Urefia's sphere has been even wider. 
His tragic poem in classical style, El Nacimiento de 
Dionisos, evoked great praise from the Uruguayan critic 
Rodo. His studies in Greek literature led him to make 
a Spanish translation of some of Walter Pater's essays, 
published as Estudios griegos. As professor of literature 
in the University of Mexico, he wrote many useful and 
interesting articles. The most brilliant of these was a 
lecture in which he set forth his discovery that the great 
Spanish dramatist, Juan Ruiz de Alarcon, was brought up 
in Mexico where his works show he first learned the ele- 
ments of dramatic art. Other essays have appeared in 
the volume Horas de Estudio. For the history of Domini- 
can literature he has done greater service than anyone 
both in his essays and the historical sketch preceding the 
Antologia dominicana and in his study Romances en 
America, in which he collected the traditional Spanish 
romances still sung or recited by the people in Santo 



The small islaiul of Pinrto Rico owing to its freedom 
from political ilisturbaiiccs shows a different type of 
literar)' production from that of other more agitated com- 
munities. In colonial times it had the distinction of 
sharing with Mexico the fame of Bernardo de Balbuena. 
While bishop of Puerto Rico he composed his heroic 
poem Bernardo. When he died, he bequeathed to the 
church his books and papers, which unfortunately were 
destroyed in the raid by the Hollanders in 1625. 

In the nineteenth century the first literary fruitage was 
due to the influence of the activity in the circle of Domingo 
del Monte. He personally encouraged several poets 
who came in contact with him in Cuba. In 1843 was 
printed in the form of a gift-book for ladies, the Aguinaldo 
Putrto-Riquefio, a collection of poems by natives of the 
island. A second and more famous collection of similar 
character was the Cancionero de Borinqucn, 1846, which 
thus made use of the poetic abpriginal name of the island. 

In this book the best poem and one which has lived in 
popular memory is entitled Insomnia by Santiago Vidarte 
(1828-48). Beginning with a barcarole it sings the tropical 
beauty of Puerto Rico as seen at dawn from the sea. 

A contributor to both collections was Alejandrina 
Benitez (1819- ? ). For years she was a frequent con- 
tributor to the periodicals of verses with a virile tone like 
her lines A Cuba and El Cable submarino. She made 
a romantic marriage with the poet Arce Gautier, and their 
son, Jose Gautier Benitez (1S48-S0), became one of the 
best poets who have written in Puerto Rico. 



The interest in country people and their customs popu- 
larized in Cuba by Del Monte, Velez Herrera and other 
poets had its echo in the prose sketches of Manuel A. 
Alonso (1823-?), which he published under the title of 
El Gibaro, the name given to the white country people 
of Puerto Rico. These valuable contributions to folk 
lore were written from his intimate knowledge of the 
peasants and their peculiar dialect, a mixture of popular 
Andalusian, old Castilian, and various aboriginal words. 

A native of Puerto Rico connected with the Cuban 
group about Milanes who sought to put poetry out to 
social service was Narciso de Foxa. His poems were 
partly descriptive, partly allegorical. His most ambitious 
effort was a Canto epico sobre el Descubrimiento de America. 

Alejandro Tapia (1827-82), who as a youth likewise 
found encouragement from Domingo del Monte, was 
the most prolific writer yet produced by Puerto Rico. 
Beginning with researches into the history of the island, 
he passed to the writing of historical dramas and novels 
and finally composed a pseudo-epic poem of great length. 
Living in Havana in 1862 he printed a volume, El Bardo 
de Guamani, containing his first productions, various 
lyrics, a prose tale. La Antigua Sirena, and the dramas, 
Bernardo de Palissy and Roberto d'Evretix. The latter in 
representing Queen Elizabeth of England contains a 
notable monologue by her before she signs the death 
warrant of Mary Stuart. After the publication of this 
volume Tapia returned to Puerto Rico. There he wrote 
and staged several dramas, Camoens, 1868, Vasco Nunez 
de Balboa, 1873, and others. 

Tapia then turned his attention to narrative, producing 


Cofrfsi in 1S76, a tale dealing with the legendary history 
of Puerto Rico; and Postumo c'l Transmigrado, the imag- 
inary stor>' of a man whose soul transmigrated into the 
body of his enemy. Later Tapia wrote in the same 
vein Postumo Envirgftiado, which related the adventures 
of a man in the body of a woman. The spiritualistic 
leanings which led Tapia to interest himself in this sort 
of tale induced him to spend energy for sixteen years in 
composing La Sataniada in thirty cantos. 

The extravagant prolixity of this poem, a curious com- 
pound of science and religion, attempts an explanation of 
the universe according to the fundamental notion that 
this world is hell, ruled by Satan. Poets are apostles to 
lead the human race to a superior development here and 
hereafter. The author expected his poem would take rank 
as the fourth epic of universal literature after the Iliad, 
the Divina Comedia, and Faust. 

Of more real value than his literary work perhaps was 
Tapia's influence on his compatriots for he showed them 
the way to better education and better literary tastes. 
He died suddenly at a public meeting when explaining a 
plan for the education of poor children. 

Certain journalists and publicists have greatly contrib- 
uted by their writings to determining the intellectual 
movement in Puerto Rico. Roman Baldorioty de Castro 
(1822- ? ), was the most popular of his countrymen on 
account of his efforts to obtain better political conditions 
from the Spaniards. As a deputy for Puerto Rico in the 
Spanish Cortes Constituyentes of 1869, he strove for the 
abolition of slavery and attracted considerable attention 
by his able speeches. In 1S74, political reaction com- 


pelled him to emigrate to Santo Domingo where he taught 
at the University. At the moment Santo Domingo was 
enjoying a renaissance of culture, and was glad to welcome 
him as well as his compatriot, E. M. Hostos. When Bal- 
dorioty was permitted to return home, he spent his time 
expounding in the papers his liberal views urging political 
autonomy for Puerto Rico and become president of a 
society working for that end. 

Manuel Corchado (1840-84) was another publicist 
who strove for improvements in conditions in his native 
island. To further the efforts for the abolition of slavery, 
he wrote a Biografia de Lincoln. He was famous as an 
orator and put his talents at the service of his compatriots 
as a deputy to the Spanish Cortes. He wrote poems also, 
chiefly of the civic type. 

Eugenio Maria de Hostos (i 839-1903), belongs not only 
to Puerto Rico but to Santo Domingo and Chile, which 
countries profited by his remarkable intellect. But the 
course of his life was determined by his patriotic love of 
his country. He was established in Spain as a young 
lawyer in 1868, when the stand which he took in arguing 
with the government for reforms in Puerto Rico resulted 
in his banishment. He went first to the United States 
where he worked with the Cuban revolutionary junta. 
The ideal which he consistently urged all his life was the 
political union of all the Antilles. Leaving the United 
States he traveled over Spanish America. In 1880 he 
was invited to Santo Domingo, where he performed the 
most important labor of his career in organizing along 
modern lines the schools of that land. After nine years 
of labor he was expelled by the reactionary dictator 


Hcurc.iux. Chile then offered him a professorship in her 
national university. As professor of international law he 
composed a textbook on the subject which is held in hifih 
esteem throughout Latin America. In i8(;S he tried to 
organize a league of patriots against the domination of 
the United States in Puerto Rico and to carry out his 
scheme for a union of the Antilles. 

Poets who flourished in Puerto Rico before the mod- 
emista movement were Gautier Bcnitcz, Francisco Al- 
varez, a becquerista adherent, and D. F. J. Amy who 
translated many poems by North Americans. The 
poetess, Dona Lola Rodriguez de Tio, whose first volume, 
Mis Cantarfs, was published in 1876, achieved her greatest 
successes in Cuba where for many years she was a favorite 
at literar}' gatherings. In the words of a Cuban, "Her 
poetry- is herself, nobility, sentiment, uprightness, love of 
home, friendship." She still contributes occasionally 
to the periodicals. 

Manuel Fernandez Juncos (bom 1846) took upon him- 
self the task of preserving the' literary history of Puerto 
Rico. Beside writing articles on its customs he prepared 
a valuable anthology of its writers. 


During the colonial period Central America, now di- 
vided into the five republics, Guatemala, Honduras, El 
Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, was politically 
organized, together with the adjoining Mexican state of 
Chiapas, into the captaincy general of Guatemala. When 
Mexico won its independence of Spain the whole territory 


temporarily became a part of that country, but in 1823 the 
five provinces established themselves as the Republic of 
the United States of Central America. But after fifteen 
years of union internal dissensions broke up the con- 
federation into its component parts which despite various 
attempts at reunion have remained independent republics. 

Of the total population approximating five million 
about two-fifths dwell in Guatemala, one-fifth in the 
densely inhabited and mountainous El Salvador. The 
majority of the people are of mixed Spanish and Indian 
blood, for the native races have been well absorbed. Never- 
theless, regions exist where the Indians remain the same 
primitive savages as their ancestors were at the time of 
the first Spanish conquests of Cortes and Pedro de AI- 
varado. In Costa Rica, visited by Columbus on his third 
voyage and subjugated by Pedrarias de Avila from Panama 
in 15 13, the population of three hundred and fifty thousand 
contains a much larger percentage of unmixed Spanish 
blood than that of the other states. 

Apart from the numerous revolutions and almost in- 
cessant fighting in these republics, the most discussed 
incident in their recent history was the attempt by the 
North American filibuster, William Walker, to carve out 
new slave territory to be added to our southern states. 
Temporarily successful in Nicaragua in 1856, he was cap- 
tured and shot during an expedition in 1S60 into Honduras. 

During the colonial period there was produced in the 
monastic establishments of Guatemala a considerable 
bulk of writing mainly in Latin. In that language was 
written by Rafael Landivar (1731-93), a member of a 
religious order in Guatemala, a poem Rusticatio mexicana 


which critics have universally praised fur its hi^h literary 
meri;/^ Having for its topic the beauties and wonders of 
America it belongs to that Virgilian type of descriptive 
poctrv' so common to American literature. The poem has 
attracted many translators, and especially to be praised 
is the Spanish version of the Mexican Joaquin Arcadio 

Natives of Central America who have attained literary 
fame achieved it often out of their own country where the 
opportunity for development was too restricted. The 
most notable instance is that of the leader of the modem- 
ista movement throughout America, Ruben Darit), who 
was bom in Nicaragua, and exercised his poetical gifts 
in Buenos Aires. Yet the Central American aboriginal 
strain in his blood so evident in his portrait tinges also 
his writings. 

A native of Guatemala whose life was likewise chiefly 
spent away from his native land was Antonio Jose de 
Irisarri (17S6-1868). Inheriting immense wealth from 
his father, he was obliged to go to Peru for the purpose 
of looking after his property. Moreover, he had relatives 
there and in Chile among the wealthiest and most in- 
fluential families. Espousing the cause of the revolution, 
he held prominent offices in both the military and civil 
establishments. Obliged by the success of the Spanish 
arms in 18 14 to leave Chile he went to Europe by way of 
Buenos Aires. When Chile won her independence in 1818 
Irisarri was appointed as her diplomatic representative 
in Paris and London in which capacity he remained till 
1825. His principal achievement was the obtaining for 
Chile of a loan on more favorable terms than those usually 


granted to the American republics. From Europe he re- 
turned to Guatemala in time to take part in one of the 
internal quarrels of the new republic. Though general 
of an army he was captured and remained a prisoner for 
nine months till he was allowed to escape and betake him- 
self again to Chile. Again he occupied various public 
offices. In 1837 he was appointed Chilean minister in 
Lima. A year later he removed to Ecuador and lived there 
till 1845. Thence by way of Colombia, Venezuela, Cura- 
sao, Jamaica, Cuba he came to New York, arriving in 
1849. In 1855 he was made the diplomatic representative 
of Guatemala in the United States. 

Wherever Irisarri resided his pen was diligently em- 
ployed and his means permitted him to found periodicals 
for the publication of its products. One of these period- 
icals most worthy of mention is El Censor americanoy 
printed in 1820 in London. To it Andres Bello contributed 
and possibly took therefrom the idea of the reviews which 
he himself edited. The character of Irisarri's writings was 
as diverse as the requirements of his numerous journals. 
Many of his political polemics were also printed in pam- 
phlet form. His productions in verse he collected in the 
volume entitled Poesias satiricas y burlescas, while his 
articles on grammar and philology of which he was ex- 
cessively fond he republished in Ciiestiones filogicas. 

To another native of Guatemala, Jose de Batres y 
Montufar (1809-44), ^^^ Spanish critic Menendez y Pelayo 
accords the highest praise. He ranks him with the best 
poets of America, though the Guatemalan's principal work, 
Tradiciones de Guatemala, consisting of three merry tales 
in verse, belongs to a minor genre. The title is somewhat 


misleading because the stories arc three hits of scaruial 
which might he localized anywhere. Hut they arc related 
without offensive details, gracefully, and with nurry 
humor. Moreover, they abound in local color when the 
author describes the procession on St. Cecelia's day or 
caricatures the old hidalgo, Pascual del Pescon. The 
author pretended merely to translate in royal octaves the 
tales of the Italian poet Casti but his work is original. 
He imitated Byron to the extent of making, like his Don 
Juan, skeptical and misanthropic digressions from the 
narrative. Altogether Batres y Montufar, according to 
the Spanish critic, is the "most finished model of jocose 

The romantic movement awakened echoes in Central 
.America. By his Tardes de Ahril the Guatemalan Juan 
Dicguez (1813-66) became a most popular poet and his 
brilliant evocations of nature are known to all his country- 
men. His Oda a la Independencia fills their special need 
for an expression of patriotism, while La Garza, written in 
exile, voices feelings experienced by many fellow country- 

The most prolific writer in Guatemala was Jose Milla 
(1822-82), "Salome Gil," who long held the position of 
editor of the Gaceta Oficial. He busied himself with the 
study of history and not only wrote a Historia de Guatemala 
but gave forth the results of his studies in many historical 
novels. One of the eadicst, Don Bonifacio, written in 
verse, novelizes an episode which occurred in 1731. His 
prose novels contain realistic pictures of life in Guatemala. 

During the years from 1854 to i860 a Spaniard, Fran- 
cisco Velarde, directed a school in Guatemala which ex- 


ercised a considerable influence on the young men who 
attended it. Velarde was a romantic poet whose Melodias 
romdnticas, and Cdnticos del Nuevo Mundo belong to the 
school of Zorrilla. The author being personally known 
these poems have been much imitated in America. 
Through him the Indian legend became popular. 

In the republic of El Salvador there have lived several 
poets worthy of mention. Juan Jose Bernal wrote in a 
mystic vein with a feeling for nature. Juan Jose Cafias 
(1826-00) possessed a sentimental and patriotic note. At 
the time of the gold fever in California he visited the mines 
there but without material success. Later he fought 
against the filibustering expedition of William Walker. 
Then he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Chile. All 
these experiences were recorded in his poems. Fond of 
the ocean his best poems recall his voyages, especially 
the patriotic lines A. J. M. Dow, capitdn del vapor Guate- 
mala and the sentimental Se va el vapor, long a favorite 
song in Costa Rica. 

Isaac Ruiz Araujo (1850-81) and Francisco E. Galindo 
(1850-00) compete with each other for the place of premier 
poet of Salvador. Their themes were love, natural scenery 
and patriotism. The latter also wrote a play in three 
acts, Dos Flores, with a patriotic plot. 

Joaquin Aragon (b. 1863) was a diligent versifier of 
national legends some of which were lengthy. Milta, 
for example, was the story of an Indian maid by that 
name who fell in love with a young officer in the first 
Spanish army that came to Cuscatlan (such was the na- 
tive name for the country) under the leadership of Pedro 
de Alvarado. The young man for love of her refuses to 


obey the orders of his superiors. Soon tluriafttr the 
woman was ordered by the cacicjue of her villapr to kill 
the Spaniard. As the coniniand was said to be from 
God, she obeyed but promptly killed herself. When the 
Spanish soldiers, coming to arrest the deserter, found 
that he has been murdered, they slaughtered the whole 

The semi-official anthologies of the Central American 
states make a brave showing of poets in the matter of 
number, but a reading of their productions does not im- 
press one with great merit. In Costa Rica the becquerista 
manner, had a considerable following. Emilio Pacheco, 
Carlos Gagini, and Rafael Machado were the most pro 
litic. When the modemista movement attracted atten- 
tion there arose in that state a poet, Acjuiieo J. Echeverria, 
who deserv'es wider recognition for his crioUo romances. 

To Nicaragua abundance of literary honor has been 
conferred by having been the birthplace of Ruben Dario. 
Also bom in Nicaragua was Santiago Argiiello whose 
verses in the modemista manner have attracted favorable 
attention in other countries where he has lived. 



j The year [1888 'may be adopted to make a date for the 
hiost recent movement in Spanish-American literature. 
/in that year Ruben Dario (1867-1916), published in 
/Valparaiso a volume of prose and verse entitled ^zul, 
instantly received with acclaim by the young men. The 
peculiar qualities of these poems were not wholly Dario*s 
invention though their excellency of execution displayed 
the high quality of his poetic gifts. From Mexico, from 
Cuba, from Colombia, from every country where men 
were writing the Spanish language, this talented poet 
absorbed tendencies and methods and welded them into 
a product of his own. In Buenos Aires, a group of ardent 
admirers became imitators of the new style. To provide 
an outlet for their productions they founded a periodical, 
an example which was followed by young men in other 
countries who proclaimed themselves adherents of the 
new school. 

The modernista idea consisted in an adaptation to the 
Spanish language of the form and substance of the French 
Parnassian, dpcadent and symbolist schools of verse. 

Beginning with translation and imitation the Spanish 
Americans progressed till the content of the poems was 
largely derived from American sources. In poetic forms 
and meters they effected a revolution whose influence 



spread to Spain itstlf. Vhv poets consciously soukIu to 
widen the horizon ol poetic endeavor hy rejectinR the 
tyranny of ancient r ules of prosody. Their cuh of heauty 
led them to evocations of ancient Greece and their love 
of elegance to the \ ersailles of the eighteenth century. 
In reaction against the excesses of the naturalistic school, 
they believed that art had a mission as a creator of beauty 
to cove r, as it were with a veil, the Brutality of human 
life. In rebellion against the narrowing influences of 
regionalism they hoped to find a common basis for their 
iiterar}' art in the theory that their civilization was 
European. The later poets have rejected this theor>' and 
built on a universal Americanism which finds its bond 
of union in a common language and a similar racial 

That a type of literature so artificial in its leading 
characteristics should meet with such wide acceptance 
proves that it corresponded to the needs and desires of 
Spanish Americans. Their various countries were pass- 
ing through a feverish stage ^ of material development 
which to men of artistic temperament offered little that 
was stimulating. For that reason they looked abroad. 
Momentarily the Teutonic spirit as revealed to them in 
Becquer's poems and the translations from Heine made 
by Perez Bonalde and the Cubans Antonio and Francisco 
Sellcn made a strong appeal. But the love of the exotic, 
so strong in all modcrnista poets, was better satisfied by 
the work of the French poets. Verlaine was the favorite, 
but there was scarcely one of them who has not had his 

Though Ruben Dario was the master, his precursors 


in America were not without influence on his work. Fore- 
most in point of time was the Mexican Gutierrez Najera 
who strove to adapt to the Spanish language some of 
the musical qualities of the French. To his efforts may 
be traced the modernista demand that speech should be 
endowed with the emotional power of music. Keenly 
sensitive to music he gave a poetical interpretation to a 
favorite composition in his poem La Serenata de Schubert, 
of which he says "so would my soul speak if it could." 
His masterpiece in imparting to words the suggestive 
quality of music was his last poem, A la Corregidora, 
written for recitation at the laying of the cornerstone of a 
monument to a lady. The poet bids the attentive ear 
listen to the opening of the buds in the spring, to the 
murmuring waters and the singing of the birds; the whole 
earth is hymning the psalm of life to the lady and offering 
incense at her altar. The novelty is not in the ideas, but 
in the method whereby the poet succeeds in conveying 
them as much by the sheer flow of verbal sound as by the 
meaning of his words. 

Another poet, also a Mexican, to whom Ruben Dario 
owed something was Salvador Diaz Miron. The latter 
put a personal stamp not only on the energetic handling 
of his personal or social themes, but also on a certain 
meter, the hendecasyllabic quatrain. This meter, though 
not widely used in Spain, was popular in Spanish America 
for religious and love poetry. Diaz Miron adapted it to 
heroic themes, in which form it was widely imitated and 
became associated with his name. Ruben Dario in Jzul 
paid him the compliment of a sonnet which gave a just 
characterization of Diaz Miron's verses as follows: 


^'our quatrain is a four yoked chariot drawn by wild caglcj 
who love the tempests and the oceans. Heavy brands and stone 
clubs are the proper weapons for your hands. Your mind has 
craters and ejects lavas. "V'our rude strophes, never slaves, 
travel over the mountains and plains of art like a herd of Amer- 
ican buffaloes. What sounds from your lyre sounds far, as 
when Boreas speaks or the thunder. Son of the new world, let 
humanity hear the pomp of your lyric hymns which triumphantly 
salute liberty. 

It is a tribute to Dario's versatility that he could draw 
inspiration from this fire-eater when his own habit of 
mind, loving elegance and beauty, was so different. It 
was easy on the other hand for him to find suggestions 
in the work of a Cuban poet, Julian del Casal, who was 
living in a world of his own creation, a bit of Japan set 
down in Havana. 

Julian del Casal (1863-93), completely imbued with the 
spirit of French poetr>', not only composed his verses in 
the same manner but arranged his daily life in keeping 
with its suggestions. For a poetic canon he adopted the 
epistle which accompanies the second volume of Jean 
Moreas' Les Cantilenes. His living-room he furnished in 
Japanese style so minutely, that he even kept joss sticks 
scented with sandal wood burning before an image of 
Buddha. This [ ove of Orien tal elegance appears in his 
poems, notably Kakemono in which he describes to the 
last detail of color and outline the toilet of a geisha, the 
make-up of her face, the arrangement of her hair and the 
embroider}' of her silken clothing. Parisian elegance 
had no less a fascination for his mind. As, however, he 
had never been in Paris, that world was equally an im- 
aginary one, as exotic as the ancient Greek world whose 


beauty he loved. The pessimism of Baudelaire and Ban- 
ville likewise appealed to his nature. They scarcely sur- 
passed Casal in his expressions of discontent at the uni- 
verse, or of horror at early death which in point of fact 
he did meet. 

The sonnet practiced with such perfection by Leconte 
de ITsle and J. M. de Heredia was Casal's favorite form 
of verse. Like them he drew vivid pictures whose care- 
fully chosen details leave a strong impression on the 
reader's mind. His portraits of individuals, Prometheus, , 
Salome, Helen of Troy are unique. The sonnet on the 
latter, for example, is a gem of great beauty. The first 
quatrain refers to the heaps of the slain, the second draws 
attention to the smoking ruins of Ilion, the tercets reveal 

Helen "wrapped in a vestment oTopaline gauze spangled 
with gold" as "she gazes indifferent at the murky horizon, 
toying with a lily in her rosy fingers." With equal skill 
Casal depicted persons of the actual world about him in 
Havana; the barefoot friar begging for alms whose mind 
is distracted between the call to mass from the convent 
bell and the braying of his ass; the maja, clad in a gaily 
embroidered Manila shawl, whose little slippers, as she 
dances, dart back and forth beneath her skirt of black 
lace and green satin "like timid doves in the foliage." 

Though Casal lived in an artificial world of his own 
creation he took an interest in the troubled politics which 
was agitating Havana and his friends who were writing 
like himself for La liabana Elegante. He wrote not only a 
few poems on certain abhorred acts of the government but 
also contributed prose sketches on Havana society. One 
of the latter containing piquant references to the governor 


and his family lirouglit the pdlice to the office of the 
periodical. Among his essays in prose should he men- 
tioned a study of Joris Karl Huysmans whose work Casal 
greatly admired. Some of his articles in prose were 
collected in the volume entitled Btistos y Rimas, puhlished 
in 1893. His earlier poems were printed in Ilojas al 
yUnto, 1S90, and NUvCy 1S91. 

The dates of these collections would show that Casal 
was merely contemporary with Ruben Dario, but as 
Casal's poems began to appear in periodicals in the middle 
eighties there can be no doubt that Dario was conversant 
with them. And if Casal was not an actual precursor t)f 
Dario it is certain that the latter's verses in Prosas Prof anas 
show in a more marked degree than in his ^-Izul that love 
of the e.xotic, that delight in color and that sensual joy 
in the refinements of elegance which Casal displayed from 
the first. Moreover, Dario passed several weeks in Havana 
in intimate acquaintance with Casal. They wrote poems 
in collaboration from which it is impossible for the critic 
to separate their respective cornpositions. And in Paginal 
de Vida Casal, without mentioning Dario's name, described 
the visitation of a poet who strove to move him from his 

Another contemporary whose metrical experiments 
taught Dario something was the Colombian Jose Asuncion 
Silva (1860-96), trub^;_a poet of the first rank. Silva's 
verses possess tfie charm of strong personal feeling set 
forth sincerely in musical language. Though pessimistic 
in tone there is no pose about them and at times the joy 
of living shines through the gloom of disillusion. If ever 
a man has been harassed by bad fortune it was Silva. Of 


aristocratic lineage he was born handsome and wealthy. 
But he suffered one blow of fortune after another. His 
family inheritance was swept away by a revolution in 
Colombia. His father dying it devolved on the son not 
only to support the family but to attempt to recover some 
part of the lost property. In this he was unsuccessful. 
The manuscript of a literary work of which he had high 
hopes was lost at sea during transmission to France for 
publication. His verses, his chief solace in evil days, were 
not printed in collected form till after his death. Finally 
a beautiful sister of whom he was very fond was claimed 
by death. So he could think of no relief for his ills but the 
taking of his own life by a pistol shot. 
V. The obsession of death and the pessimistic attitude of 
' one whose joy in living is almost childlike are the striking 
characteristics of Silva's mentality. Childhood memories 
frequently recur to him. In the musical poem Crepusculo 
he retells the fairy stories which delighted his babyhood 
days and crowd into his mind as he listens to the grand- 
mother singing a child to sleep. 

The most widely known of Silva's poems are Los Noc- 
Ikurnos, consisting of the brief relation of four love scenes 
[with a tragic note. Metrically these display Silva's 
originality in the handling of long and short lines in an 
I attempt to adjust the rhythm of the verse to the inward 
rhythm of the thought. One of his methods was the 
repetition of words or lines assisted by the mode of print- 
ing. He sought, for example, to evoke the shadows of the 
lovers in the moonlight thus: 

Y tu sombra 
Hna y languida 


y mi somhrn, 
por los rayos dc la luna proycctadas, 
sobre las arenas tristt-s 
de la scnda sc juntaban, 
y cran una, 
y cran una, 
y eran una sola sombra larga, 

y eran una sola sombra larpa, 
y eran una sola sombra iarpa. 

One of Silva's finest poems is Ante la Estatua, referrinR 
to the famous statue of Bolivar in the public square of 
Bogota. Its pessimistic purpose of pointing out the 
pettiness of mankind is again characteristic. Ihc poet's 
attention is drawn to the bronze figure because he sees 
two boys playing in front of the statue. As he meditates 
he hears a voice speak of the hero in a depreciative manner. 
Tales of colonial times occur to the poet's memor>% and 
the form of the Liberator rises before his eyes, who dis- 
courses at length on the hours of bitterness falling to his 
lot in his last years at the hands of the peoples for whom 
he had labored. 

Silva's metrical mannerisms when imitated by others 
degenerated. He was as inimitable as Edgar Allen Poe 
whom Silva greatly admired, and whose rendering of the 
sound of bells he tried to rival in Spanish in El Dia df 
Difuntos. In fact Poe was a favorite not only with Silva 
but with other modemista poets. The references to Poe 
in their works, as well as to Walt Whitman are numerous. 
With the latter in fact they seem to feel a certain affinity. 
Ruben Dario often calls on the name of Walt Whitman as 
the one singer of the New World who tried to be truly 


It is a tribute to Ruben Dario's talent that he could 
gather ideas from so many diverse sources and make them 
into his own by means of his marvelous ability for writing 
verses. He was hke a bee that could make honey from 
man}^ flowers. His life too was that of the wanderer. Bom 
in Nicaragua, he emigrated to the west coast of South 
America and thence to Buenos Aires. While in Chile he 
made his first great literary success by the publication of 
Azul. This book was partly in prose and partly in verse. 
It is a mark of Dario's unusual ability that an account of 
his career must consider both his prose and his verse. 

The prose compositions of Azul were impressionistic 
pieces, almost poems in prose. Though most have the 
form of tales or fairy stories, their scenes being laid in 
Greece or some other land of the author's imagination, 
some are mere torrents of imagery. Nearly all teach the 
compelling force of the desire for the ideal, whether for 
the poet the ideal is a nymph in the wood, La Ninfa, or for 
/ V the gnome the ruby. El Rubi, symbol of the reproductive 
Y power of mother earth. Blue is the color of the ideal, like 
"^ jL^ the veil of Queen Mab, El Velo de la Reina Mab, who comes 
j'ij^ in her car made of a single pearl to the four lean unshaven 
men in the garret, the sculptor, the painter, the musician, 
and the poet. Complaining bitterly of their luck, their 
lamentations are turned to laughter after she has wrapped 
them in her veil through which they glimpse life with a 
rosy tint. 

The most important poems in Azul were those which 
voiced the feelings excited in the poet's mind by the four 
seasons of the year. Spring of course suggests love; but 
so do the others. Summer love is symbolized in the mating * 


of Bengal tigers. Ihat clay, however, the tipress was 
killed in the hunt hy the Prince of Wales; wherefore the 
tiger mourning in his hiir dreamed of revenge, of sinking 
his chiws in the tender bosoms of chiltlreii and maidens. 
Love in the Autumn is tinged with the melancholy of the 
season of dying things; nevertheless a friendly fairy 
whispers secrets to the poet, what the birds are singing, 
what the girls arc dreaming. As for Winter, its snows 
may drive men from the city streets to sit by the Hre of 
crackling logs, but what better music to accompany 
caresses and kisses? 

The peculiarities and excellencies of Azul were pointed 
out by Don Juan V alera in his famous criticism printed in 
his Cartas americanas. The Spanish critic was impressed 
by the Gallic quality of Dario's style, especially of his 
prose. As his language was excellent Castilian, Valera 
termed Dario's Gallicism mental rather than verbal. 
Azul was a pure work of art with the stamp of originality. 
Though it showed that its author was saturated with the 
most extreme type of French literature, he imitated no 
one writer. His adoration of nature was pantheistic. 
And though at times there was an exuberance of sensual 
love, as in the poems on the seasons of the year, there was 
something religious about that love. Though applauding 
the perfection of his "mental Gallicism," Valera wished 
that there occupied a larger place in Dario's art the teach- 
ings of Spanish literature. As for the title of the book, or 
more especially the motto from V^ictor Hugo, ** L art, 
c'est I'azur!" it seemed to the critic merely an empty 
phrase. Why is art blue rather than green, red, or yellow? 

Between Azul, published in 18S8, and Dario's next 


volume of poems, Prosas Prof anas, 1896, he took vast 
strides along the road of mental Gallicism. While there 
is no evidence of his following Valera's advice regarding 
the study of Spanish literature, he was certainly well 
read in the classics and in the poets of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries. He even wrote poems in imitation 
of the archaic and introduced archaic words into his 
vocabulary. Moreover, he undoubtedly welcomed any 
suggestion that came to him from the work of his con- 
temporaries. In addition those eight years were full of 
experience. In Buenos Aires, an enthusiastic group of 
young men formed a coterie of modemista poets. In 1892 
he was in Europe. In Madrid, where he represented 
Nicaragua at the quadricentennial celebration of the 
discovery of America, he made the acquaintance of the 
Andalusian poet, Salvador Rueda. For the latter's En 
Tropel Dario wrote some verses by way of prologue with 
the title Portico. To these verses are commonly ascribed 
the entrance into Spanish literature of the modemista 
influence. In Paris he made the personal acquaintance 
of many French poets as well as a rather critical study of 
the works of the decadent and symbolist schools. The 
articles which he contributed to periodicals on these men 
were collected in Los Raros. Taken together they express 
Dario's own literary ideal, art is the rare, the strange, the 
unusual, so well embodied in the title for the volume of 
verses which he wrote during these years, " Profane 

But to please this poet's sensibilities the strange and 
rare must be conjoined with the elegant and the sump- 
jtUQUsTTIis artistic creed may be art for art's sake, with 


little concern for conventional morality, but he has no 
liking for the iiply and vulgar. Me is no follower of 
Baudelaire. Rather his e.vquisite senses demand cltan 
beauty, fine lace, shining jewels, sweet odors, brilliant 
flowers, the refinements of classic Greece or of eighteenth- 
centurj' French society. The lady of his dreams is some- 
times typified by Leda, more often she is a marquise of 
the old regime. 

From the point of view of versification, Prosas Pro/anas 
contains all manner of experiments aiming at a greater 
metrical freedom as well as new poetic forms. It was the 
poems of this volume that gave models to other mod- 
emistas. A single example of the many good pieces in 
it is the favorite Sinfonia en gris mayor. The novelty of 
this poem, the emphasis given to one color was probably 
suggested by Gautier's SymphoTiie en blanc majeur, but 
Dario seems to have applied also Rimbaud's conception 
of vocaUc tone color. The vowel of the word "gris" 
(g''3y)> the only assonance used throughout the poem, 
may be employed even in the English rendering for the 
same purpose. 

The sea as in a silvered glass 
Reflects a sky as gray as zinc; 
Afar some birds in bands, like stains. 
Into the polished surface sink. 

The sun, a disk opaque and round. 
Slow climbs the zenith, old and sick, 
The seawind rests within the shade, 
Its pillow a cloud-bank gray and thick. 

The waves henvinq with leaden beat 
Beneath the wharf their moan begin; 


A sailor sitting on a coil of rope, 
Puffing his pipe, is rapt in thought 
Of fog-clad home and distant kin. 

A wandering wolf the old seadog; 
Brazilian suns have tanned his skin; 
Typhoons in China, fierce and wild, 
Have seen him drink his flask of gin. 

His nose so red has long been known 
To salt sea spray, which knows them still, 1 
His curly hair, his biceps huge, 
His canvas cap, his blouse of drill. 

Through smoke upcurling from his pipe 
His foggy land the old marine 
Can glimpse, from where one sultry day 
Shook out her sails his barkentine. 

In tropic siesta he falls asleep, 
While gray on all its mark imprints. 
The sky to the horizon shows 
A draftsman's scale of grayish tints. 

The tropic siesta: the locust old 
Essays her guitar hoarse and thin; 
The cricket plays in monotone 
On the single string of her violin.^ 

The preeminent quality of the verses in Prosas Profanas 
was grace; in his next volume of collected poems, Cantos 
de Vida y Esperanza, 1905, it was force. Many of these 
poems had been called forth by public events. The 
Spanish-American world at the turn of the century had 

Version of Alfred Coester. 


been stirred to the depths of its soul, first by the revolu- 
tion in Cuba, and steond by the Spanish-Aineriean war. 
Though sympathizing with Cuba the Spanish Americans 
felt the call of the race against the great northern re- 
public. In their Tyrt;i'an outcries Rulien Dario followed 
rather than led. 

He was essentially a poet of personal expression. Writ- 
ing some verses as an mtroduction to the Cantos de f'ida y 
Espirranza, he made with engaging frankness a confession 
of his past and a criticism of his literary career which 
leaves only the details to be supplied by the biographer. 
He referred to the ideas of his youth, his sensuality, his 
love of beauty, the bitterness of disillusion, his longing for 
sincerity in art; at last he feels that "the caravan sets out 
for Bethlehem." It cannot be said, however, in spite of 
certain poems on repentance, that Ruben Dario seriously 
renounced his Epicureanism or became devout as did 
Verlaine and other French poets of his acquaintance. 

Metrically the new experiment in Cantos de Vida y 
Esprranza was an attempt at the classic hexameter, the 
meter which he selected as most worthy for his political 
themes. In La Salutacion al Optimista, beginning with 
the line, 

Inclitas razas uberrimas, sangre de Hispania tecunda, 

he not only set a new model for patriotic utterances in 
verse, but he extended a greeting to Spanish Americans 
urging them to lay aside their quarrels and look, to the 
future when the ancient Latin stock should rule a new- 
continent. The enemy most to be feared seemed the 
"colossus of the north" which for the moment was typified 


_in President Roose velt. Accordingly in an ode A Roose- 
velt, Dario thus abjured the bogey of Anglo-Saxon domina- 

'Tis only with the Bible or Walt Whitman's verse, 

That you, the mighty hunter, are reached by other men. 

You're primitive and modern, you're simple and complex, 

A veritable Nimrod with aught of Washington. 

You are the United States; 

You are the future foe 

Of free America that keeps its Indian blood. 

That prays to Jesus Christ, and speaks in Spanish still. 

You are a fine example of a strong and haughty race; 

You're learned and you're clever; to Tolstoy you're oppost d; 

And whether taming horses or slaying savage beasts, 

You seem an Alexander and Nebuchadnezzar too. 

As madmen to-day are wont to say. 

You're a great professor of energy. 

You seem to be persuaded 

That life is but combustion. 

That progress is eruption. 

And where you send the bullet , 

You bring the future. 

The United States are rich; they're powerful and great; 
They join the cult of Mammon to that of Hercules, 
And when they stir and roar, the very Andes shake. . . . 

But our America, which since the ancient times 

Has had its native poets; which lives on fire and light, ] 

On perfumes and on love; our vast America, 

The land of Montezuma, the Inca's mighty realm. 

Of Christopher Columbus the fair America, 

America the Spanish, the Roman Catholic, 

O men of Saxon eyes and fierce barbaric soul. 

This land still lives and dreams, and loves and stirs! 



Take carr! 
Ihc dauj;htir (if the Sun, tin* Spanish laiul cloth live! 
And from the Spanisli hoii a thousand whelps have sprung! 
'I is need, O RoDsevelt, that you he Ciod himself . . . 
Before you hold us fast in your grasping iron claws. 

And though you count on all, one thing is lacking, — God!' 

This popular and interesting expression of the common 
Spanish-American conception of the United States was 
largely repudiated by Dario in a subsequent poem Salu- 
tacion al Aguila, written to welcome the North American 
delegates to the Pan-American Congress held in Brazil 
in 1906. In this poem he prays for the secret of the north- 
em republic's political and material success and reminds 
the Eagle that the Condor exists with his brother in the 
lofty heights. Together they may achieve marvels. 
Rather than w rite such sentiments as these a Venezuelan 
critic said he would have cut off his hand. 

The volume in which this poem was printed, El Canto 
errante, 1<^'J, contained verses of many periods grouped 
to bring out the idea suggested by the title that the poet's 
mission is to travel over the universe seeking beauty every- 
where and express it in beautiful language, for the soul of 
all things is Beauty. This pantheistic notion is a leading 
characteristic of some of Dario's followers. 

The modemista school in so far as it was influenced by 
Ruben Dario, started with imitation of Azul and the 
verses collected in Prosas Profanas. The establishment of 
the Rrvista Latina by his coterie in Buenos Aires was 
the signal for ambitious young men in other centers of 
' Version of E. C. Hills. 


Latin culture in America to found such periodicals as 
La Revista Azul in Mexico, Cosmopolis in Caracas, and 

Pluma i Ldpiz in Santiago de Chile. These periodicals 

were short lived but stimulated the establishment of El 
Cojo Ilustrado of Caracas and the Revista Moderna of 
Mexico, both of which for more than a decade at the turn 
of the century were the leading literary journals of Latin 
America, In them might be read the best literature that 
was being produced. No poet, however, developed the 
versatility of Ruben Dario though in Buenos Aires there 
were several writers with distinct personalities working 
along original lines. 

Of these Leopoldo Diaz, bom i862t_ selected the sonnet 
as his favorite mode of expression and was really a Par- 
nassian in the manner of the French poet, J. M. de Heredia. 
The sonnets reveal a sensuous love of beauty under the 
guise of Hellenism, which is not derived, however, from 
a study of ancient Greece, but from Parisian poets. Fol- 
lowing the trend of his contemporary Americans, Diaz 
wrote one volume of sonnets devoted to the early Spaniards 
in America, Los Conquistadores. In all his work Diaz' 
special merit is his clever handling of the Spanish language. 
In regard to it the French critic, Remj^ de Gourmont, in a 
preface to a French translation of Las Sombras de Hellas, 
coined the term "neo-espanol." 

He said: "The Spanish language lives again free and-, 
rejuvenated in the old Castilian colonies which have 
become proud republics. This new literature owes little 
to Spain beside the language; its ideas are European. Its 
intellectual capital is Paris. ... In the purest 'new- 
Spanish' Diaz sings of Greek beauty. This language 


more supple than the rude classic Castilian is also more 
clear; the phrase constructed in the French manner pur- 
sues a course more logical, more according to the natural 
course of thought." 

Such ideas raised a storm of protest from Spaniards, 
while Spanish Americans were not quite content to agree 
to all its implications. Their efforts to enrich their vo- 
cabulary were by no means limited to Gallicisms, for 
they studied the Spanish classics and revived many old 
terms as well as adopted such aboriginal words as repre- 
sented native conditions. Those members of the literary 
coterie in Buenos Aires who most consciously strove 
for a richer and more e.xpressive vocabulary were Ricardo 
Jaimes Freyre and Leopoldo Lugones. 

R. Jaimes Freyre is a Bolivian by birth, and by profes- /y, 
sion a professor in theJJniversity of^Tucuman. He was 
associated with Ruben Dario in the publication of the 
Revista Latina. His most notable poems were a series of 
picturesque evocations of the life of the pampas and 
certain experiments in the treatment of^xotic themes, 
especially those derived from Scandinavian mythology. 
To the_collecnon he gav e the title Castalia Barbara . 

Lugones has written more extensively and on more 
varied topics, progressing froin a sornevs^ha^metaphy^sical 
type of verse to the production of essays on political and 
even mathematical to pics. His latest enterprise was the 
editing Tn French^ of ^^eR^vue Sud-Ajnericaine which, 
printed in_Paris^ad for its purpose a wide dJfF usion of 
knowledge of SpanisL-American affairs. From his earliest 
verses in Afontaiias del Oro, or his ^ mise \n his romantic 
histo^L^ Paraguay, Ejrjmperio^jfsuiticoy the choice of 


words has been Lugones' special care. In describing na- 
ture he wished to enter into the soul of the mountain 
crags or the fruits of the fields. At times he accomplished 
this by calling to mind the finished product of which the 
com, the cotton or the flax was the simplest and first 
element. What more poetic or more vivid word picture 
of a flax field in bloom than this.'' "Let us praise the 
flax in bloom, whose flowers are like shepherd girls dressed 
in their Sunday best of simple blue at the edge of the 
dusty paths." 

By the publication of his volume Crepusculos del Jardin, 
Lugones won a following in Argentina. About one-half 
of the poems in this book were sonnets in a very elegant 
and delicate style dealing with love and melancholy. 
Their structure, however, was simpler than those of the 
Uruguayan Herrera y Reissig by whom Lugones appeared 
to have been influenced. But Lugones' constant striving 
after eflFect led to extravagance in the collection of poems 
entitled Lunario Sentimental whose main purpose seems 
to be to astound the commonplace reader. 

The desire to be understood only by the elect, a sort of 
new Gongorism, which is present even in Dario's poems, 
was carried to the limit by the Uruguayan Julio Herrera y 
Reissig (died 1909). His sonnets, in spite of their in- 
volved rhetorical structure and their unusual terms, pos- 
sess considerable beauty. For that reason since the 
poet's death they have been "discovered" and are being 
read again. 

But obscurity or whimsicality was too often taken by 
the less gifted modernista poets to be the acme of art. 
One whose eccentricity, however, amounts to positive 



genius is the Mexican Amado Ne rvo. Thv luilk of his 
writing is ver\' great and generally too personal to admit 
analysis. His originality is his variety, sometimes termed 
his pantheism, because he pretends to write in the person 
of a druid, of a Merovingian king, of a plant or a buttirHy. 
No less varied than his themes arc his meters with the 
intermingling of long and short lines and even snatches of 
prose. He boasts of this, saying that he is not master of 
his rhymes, a statement which would describe the fact 
that he puts into verse every emotional experience. He 
is as much a poetic anarchist as Walt WTiitman so much 
admired by the modemistas. The constant strain after 
the unusual in thought and expression reaches a climax 
perhaps in his calling a poem an "ultraviolet." Of late 
years while living in Europe Nervo has striven to be more 

Nerve's Epitalamio to King Alfonso XHI is a sustained 
poem of merit, noteworthy as an expression of a desire felt 
by many for a closer union between Spanish-speaking 
countries. In addressing the king, Nervo declares that 
Alfonso will always be the king in spirit of the eighteen 
Spanish-American republics. This poetical exaltation of 
the common origin of Spanish America became the turning 
point in the development of the modemista movement 
in poetry. Some critics are inclined to consider it definitely 
terminated with the adoption of purely American themes 
for poetical exploitati(jn. The one poet who made him- 
self the chief exponent of "Americanism" was the Peruvian 
Jose Santos Chocano, bom 1875. 

Chocano at the age of nineteen found himself in prison 
in Callao for participation in an attempted revolution. 


He vented his wrath in verses written in the pugnacious 
style of Diaz Miron. These he published as Iras Santas, 
in 1894, printed in red ink to make more emphatic his 
flaming words. More significant of his future were the 
poems of En la Aldea of about the same date descriptive 
of country life in Peru. Five years later when his long 
poem La Epopeya del Morro was given a prize by the 
Ateneo of Lima, Chocano had definitely found the path 
which was to lead him to celebrity as the rival of Ruben 
Dario for the title of "poet of America." Dario had 
taught the American poets how to make flexible the rigid 
classic versification, but his exotic themes, his eighteenth- 
century dames, his languishing swains were not so attract- 
ive as the virile deeds of the Spanish conquistador sung 
by Chocano.- The sentiment of solidarity of race assisted 
in the welcome accorded Chocano's Ahna America. Not 
only was Dario influenced to write in the same strain but 
a new school of poets sprang up who made America their 
special theme, 

Chocano's praise of America differs greatly from the 
old descriptive verse of Andres Bello; for it embraces not 
only the forests and fields but the aboriginal animals and 
races, the mountains and the cities, the Spanish adven- 
turers and their descendants. In his own words of the 

sonnet, Blason: _ , 


I am the singer of America, aboriginal and wild; my lyre has 
a soul, my song an ideal. When I feel myself an Inca, I render 
homage to the Sun, wliich gives me the scepter of royal power. 
When I feel my Spanish blood, I evoke colonial days. My verses 
are like trumpets of crystal. 

Unlike some, Chocano does not share the fear of Yankee 



domination. In his 1st mo de- Panama, a most intcrc sting 
poem, he gives praise to Anglo-Saxon energy and hints at 
the joint control of America by the Latin and Anglo-Saxon 
races. Though antagonists in the past he sees them 
brought together by the blessing of labor. At Panama, 
the place of their union, the Latin and negro races are per- 
forming the manual labor while North American intel- 
ligence directs. When, however, the canal is completed, 
it will benefit the Latin race more than the Anglo-Saxon. 
Again in El Canto del Ponrnir, Chocano sings the union 
of the North and the South, declaring that America is the 
home of liberty, the daughter of a new race, of which "the 
Adam was from the North, Latin the Eve." 

As in this line Chocano often shows himself a coiner of 
apt and striking phrases. Referring in a certain poem to 
two ships which meet at night, he writes, "Both crews 
spoke the language of Spain. Oh language of Utopian 
land!" In a sonnet in which he describes the character- 
istics of the Latin American as inheritances from many 
races living in a tropical environment, he calls them "Lo- 
curas del sol" (Mad pranks of the sun). 

Chocano's gift is the ability to see the essence beneath 
the superficial and set it forth in rhythmic phrase decked 
with such fitting adjectives or metaphor that the reader 
is held a thrall with admiration. This is especially true 
of the series of poems on the cities of Spanish America; 
Buenos Aires, Ciudad moderna, the symbol of progress, 
Lima, Ciudad colonial (Provincia de Indias) the symbol of 
past grandeur, and Ciudad dormida, the symbol of sluggish 
tropical indolence. 

The broad outlook of Chocano's poems distinguishes 



them from those of his predecessors, the criollo poets and 
noveUsts of Venezuela and his followers who have been 
incited to sing the beauties or marvels of their own coun- 
tries. Especially in Chile young poets who had imitated 
Dario turned for inspiration to the sea and the mountains, 
the fertile meadows and the treasure-laden mines. Diego 
Duble Urrutia's volume Del Mar a la Montana gave 
promise of a rival to Chocano but the Chilean ceased to 
compose verses. 

1/ The Colombian Guillermo Valencia is Chocano's great- 
-V^ I est rival, if it is possible to put together two poets whose 
r j respective styles are at opposite poles. In contrast to 

I Chocano's exuberance, Valencia is sober and austere. 
His long symbolistic and sociological poem Anarkos, was 
one of the first to draw the attention of Spanish America 
to Valencia. The depth of conception in this poem showed 
that he was a thinker to be reckoned with, a fact amply 
demonstrated again in his capital poem Cigueiias Blancas. 
After describing the flight of a band of white storks, it 
makes these beautiful birds the symbol of human ideals. 
In more recent work Valencia has taken certain Colombian 
cities for the source of his inspiration. Popayan, for 
example, with its blood-written historic past, with its 
wind-swept climate and its girdle of towering mountains 
is a fit subject for his austere muse. The dazzling white 
light of the sun in the zenith above this equatorial city 
and the gray tones of its landscape are reflected in Valen- 
cia's lines. 

The more thoughtful element among the modem poets 
is represented also by the Mexican Enrique Gonzalez 
Martinez. He advises "to wring the neck of the swan," 


that symbol of the decorative conception of life, and "to 
consider the wise owl whose eye interprets the mysterious 
book of nocturnal silence." Herein is a return to the old 
classic value set upon the contemplative life. 

The importance of the modernista movement lies in 
its universality. Writers in all Spanish-speaking countries 
have been influenced by it, including Spain. And its 
effect on prose has been as great as on verse. Here the 
result rhetorically is a breaking up of the long Castilian 
prose period into short sentences connected more by the 
logic of thought than by grammatical particles. More- 
over, the introduction of figures of speech more common 
in verse than in prose contribute by their flashes of imagi- 
nation to lighten the flow of the paragraph. 

While the origin of this style is sometimes attributed to 
Ruben Dario's Azul, the influence of Gutierrez Najera 
and of the Cuban Jose Marti should not be forgotten. 
Essentially an orator, Marti filled even his descriptive 
articles written during the eighties for La Nacion of Buenos 
Aires with the fire of his imagination. Dario having them 
for models when he began writing his observations in 
Europe further popularized this sort of prose. Dario's 
numerous books of literary criticism and travel are collec- 
tions of the articles contributed to the newspapers of 

This type of writing is the form which the love of the 
exotic so characteristic of the modernista movement as- 
sumed in prose. Hence have originated innumerable 
books of travel. The most assiduous producer of them 
has been Enrique Gomez Carrillo. Though a native of 
Guatemala, he has lived in the colony of Spanish Amcr- 


icans in Paris, when not traveling in Russia or China in 
search of material for his journalistic work. 

Another important writer of modemista prose is the 
Colombian Jose Maria Vargas Vila. Primarily a journalist 
he has reprinted in book form the immense bulk of his 
animadversions on all manner of topics. Whether classi- 
fied as history, tales, literary or political criticism, his 
writings are much the same sort of mental and verbal 
gymnastics. To heighten the originality of his eccen- 
tricity, he has revised the accepted code of punctuation 
by substituting for the period, the colon and semicolon, 
and printing with capital letters only proper names and 
the beginning of important paragraphs. He writes at 
times with gripping power and interest. The effect which 
he produces on his readers is thus characterized by R. 
Blanco Fombona: "There is in his charming disorder a 
strict cohesion and a unity of critical judgment." 

The literary essay discussing aesthetics or philosophy 
has always had a public in Spanish America. The fore- 
most modemista writers in this branch of liter ature are 
the Venezuelan Manuel Diaz Rodriguez, author of several 
novels, and the Uruguayan Jose Enrique Rodo. While 
Diaz Rodriguez' assthetic discussions in Confidencias de 
Psiquis and Camino de Perfeccion are widely read and 
admired, Rodo by his Ariel and El Mirador de Prospero 
is considered so much the inheritor of Bello's philosophical 
preeminence that he has been hailed as the "intellectual 
director of an epoch." 

Though the innumerable Spanish-American books on 
political affairs lie outside the scope of this work, one 
naturally thinks of the relations between Anglo-Saxon and 


Latin America and of their ruture. CliDcano's views set 
forth in his poems are none too popular. On the contrary, 
there is a constant agitation against the United States. 
Nevertheless this attitude of distrust diminishes with the 
distance from the United States, and seems to be kept 
alive mainly by self-seeking agitators. 

It is impossible for the average North American to feel ^^ 
that there is any likelihood of aggression by the United 0"^ 

States on our Southern neighbors. We regret the dis- j 

orders so frequently occurring in some of the more back- ^' * 
ward countries, but we positively know that we are en- 
gaged in no secret machinations against their freedom. 

As to the future it seems evident that the two Americas 
will develop along the natural lines of racial cleavage. 
Their differences will be reflected in their literatures. The 
writers of Latin America will be likely as in the past to 
follow the changes in form of European literature, while 
supplying the matter from the details of their own environ- 
ment. As the language spoken by the millions who will 
inhabit the Southern continent must necessarily be 
Spanish or Portuguese, their form of culture will be pre- 
dominantly Latin in type. Thus they arc apparently 
predestined to be the standard bearers in the new world 
of the classic ideals of beauty and literary form. 



The names of only those books most useful tn the student 
are given here. In many cases the best sourrcs for more detailed 
study are the periodicals mentioned in the text. For an incom- 
plete but working list of authors and their productions, see 
Coester, .•\lfrcd. A Bibliography of Spanish-American Literature 
in Romantic Revietv, Vol. Ill, No. I. 
For a general review of Spanish-.^merican literature, consult 
the following books: 

Menendez y Pelayo, Marcelino. Historia de la Poesla Hispano- 
americana, Madrid, 1913. This is a revision by the author 
of his introduction to the Antologia de Poetaj hispano- 
americanos, edicibn de la Academia espahola, Madrid, 1893. 
(This history and anthology cover all Spanish America; 
but as the author admitted consideration of only those poets 
who died before the year 1892 with scant mention of works 
in prose, the book, despite its indispensability, is unsatis- 
Torres Caicedo, Jose Marfa. En'sayos biogrdficos, 3 vols., Paris, 
1863 and 1868. (These are useful and interesting sketches 
of authors prominent before the date of publication with 
extracts from their works.) 
Valera, Juan. Cartas americanas (two series), NTadrid, 1889, 
1890. (Criticisms of Spanish-American literature contem- 
porary with the date of publication.) 
Sosa, Francisco. Escritores y Poetas sud-armruanos, Mexico, 

Garcia Calderon, Francisco. Les Democraties latines de 
CAmerique, Paris, 191 2. English translation entitled, Latin 
America; its rise and progress, London, 1913. (The best 
brief account of political conditions in Spanish America 
during the nineteenth centur)'.) 


Chapter I 

Ercilla y Zuniga, Alonso. La Araucana. Morceaux choisis par 

J. Ducamin, Paris, 1900. 
Medina, Jose Toribio. Historia de la Literatura colonial de Chile, 

Santiago, 1882. 
Hills, E. C. The Quechua Drama Ollantd. In Romanjic Review, 

Vol. V, No. 2. 
Gutierrez, Juan Maria. Estudios biogrdficos y criticos sobre 

algunos Poetas anterior es al Siglo XIX, Buenos Aires, 1865. 

Chapter II 

Garcia Velloso, Enrique. Historia de la Literatura argentina, 
Buenos Aires, 1914. 

El Cancionero popular in the Revista de Derecho, Historia, y 
Letras, Vols. I to XIV, Buenos Aires, 1898 ff. 

Gutierrez, Juan Maria. Various articles in La Revista de Buenos 
Aires, and La Revista del Rio de la Plata. 

Pineyro, Enrique. Biografias americanas, Paris. 

Amunategui, Miguel Luis. La Alborada poetica en Chile, San- 
tiago, 1892. 

Amunategui, Miguel Luis. La Vida de don Andres Bello, San- 
tiago, 1882. 

Canete, Manuel. Escritores hispano-americajios, Madrid, 1884. 
(About Olmedo.) 

Blanco Fombona, Rufino. Autores americanos juzgados por es- 
paholes, Paris, 1912. (Contains reprint of Canete's essay 
on Olmedo and extracts from Menendez y Pelayo.) 

Blanco Fombona, Rufino. Cartas de Bolivar, Paris, 1913. 

Chapter III 

Heredia, Jose Maria de. Poesias, New York, 1875. Edition 
with introductory study by A. Bachiller y Morales. 

Chacon y Calvo, Jose Maria. Jose Maria Heredia, in Cuba 
contemporanea for June and July, 1915. 




Pimentel, Francisco. Uisturia critidi dc la Literatura en Mexico, 

Mexico, 1883. 
Gonzalez Obregon, Luis. Jose Joaquin Fernandez de Liiardi. 
Poetas Yucaiecos y Tabasquehos, Mexico, 1861. 

Chapter IV 

Nuestro Parnaso, coleccibn de poesias argenlinas, 4 vols., ed. by 

E. Barreda, Buenos Aires, 1914. 
Garcia Velloso, Enrique. Historia de la Literatura Argentina, 

Buenos Aires, 1914. 
Garcia Merou, Martin. Recuerdos literarios, Buenos Aires, 1891. 
Groussac, Pablo. El Viaje intelectual, Madrid, 1904. 

" Editorof La ^iWio/^ra, 1896-98, Buenos Aires. 
0>-uela, Calixto. Apuntes de Literatura argentina, Buenos Aires, 

Page, F. M. English translation of Fausto in Publications 0/ 

*Mod. Lang. Association, Vol. XI, pp. 1-62. 
I Quesada, Ernesto. Resehas y Criticas, Buenos Aires, 1893. 

Chapter V 

Roxlo, Carlos. Historia critica de la Literatura Uruguaya, 

Montevideo, 1912. 
Bauza, Francisco. Estudios literarios, Montevideo, 1885. 

Chapter VI 

Antologia Chilena. Col. by P. P. Figueroa, Santiago, 1908. 
Antologia de Poetas chilenos. Col. by E. Donoso, Madrid, 1910. 
Amunategui, M. L., opera citata: also 

Las primeras Representaciones dramdticas en Chilty Santiago, 

Don Jose Joaquin de Mora, Santiago, 1888. 
Juicio critico de algunos poetas hispano-americanos, San- 
tiago, 1859. 
Ensayos biogrdjicos, Santiago, 1893-96. 


Don Salvador Sanfuentes, Santiago, 1892. 
Eliz, Leonardo. Siluetas Uric as y biogrdficas, Santiago, i88g. 
Figueroa, P. P. Diccionario biogrdfico, Santiago, 1892. 
Huneeus Gana, Jorge. Cuadro histbrico de la Produccion intelect- 

ual de Chile, Santiago, 191 2. 
Lastarria, Jose Victorino. Recuerdos liter arios, Santiago, 1878. 
Pena, Nicolas. Teatro dramdtico nacional, Santiago, 1913. 
Silva, L. Ignacio. La Novela en Chile, Santiago, 1910. 
Donoso, Armando. Los Nuevos {La joven Literatura chiUna), 

Valencia, 191 2. 

Chapter VII 

Garcia Calderon, Ventura. Del Romanticismo al ModernismOy 

Paris, 1910, 
Poetas Bolivianos. Col. by P. Molina and E. Finot. 

Chapter VIII 

Antologia ecuatoriana. Col. by the Academia del Ecuador, 
Quito, 1892. 

Mera, Juan Leon. Ojeada historic o-critic a sobre la Poesia ecua- 
toriana, Quito, 1868. 

Chapter IX 

Antologia colombiana. Col. by E. Isaza, Paris, 1895. 

Parnaso colombiano. Col. by J. Anez with preface by J. Rivas 

Groot, Bogota, 1886. 
Laverde Amaya, I. Apuntes sobre bibliografia colombiana con 

muestras escogidas, Bogota, 1889. 
Arboleda, Julio. Poesias, with introduction by M. A. Caro, 

New York, 1883. 
Gutierrez Gonzalez, Gregorio. Poesias, with introduction by 

S. Camacho Roldan, R. Pombo and others, Paris, 1908. 
Vergara y Vergara, J. M. Historia de la Literatura en Nueva 

Granada, Ijj8-j820, Bogota, 1867. 

biblioc;raphy 481 

Chapter X 

Parnaso vmfzolano. I2 vols. pub. by J. Calcano, Caracas, 

Picon Febres, Gonzalo. La Literatura veneiolana en el Si^lo 

XIX, Caracas, 1906. 

Chapter XI 

Antologia de Poetas mexicanos. Pub. by the Acadcmia mex., 

Mexico, 1894. 
Conferencias del Ateneo de la Juventud, Mexico, 1910. 
Biblioteca de Autores mexicanos, about 75 volumes various dates* 

in which may be found articles on literature in the works of 

V. Agiieros, I. Altamirano, J. M. Roa Barcena and the 

introductions of others. 
Gonzalez Obregon, Luis. Novelistas mexicanos en el Sigh 

Starr, Frederick. Readings from Modern Mexican Authorsp 

Chicago, 1904. 
Las cien mejores Poesias {liricas) mejicanas, Mexico, 1914. 

Chapteji XII 

Arpas cubanas. La Habana, 1904. 

Parnaso cubano. Col. by A. Lopez Prieto, i88r. 

Bachiller y Morales, A. Apuntes para la historia de las Letras 

y de la Instruccibn publica en Cuba, La Habana, 1 859. 
Calcagno, Francisco. Diccionario biogrdfico cubano, La Habana, 

Calcagno, Francisco. Poetas de Color, H. 1887. 
Mityans, Aurelio. Estudio sobre el movimiento cientifico y litrrario 

de Cuba, H. 1890. 
Pineyro, Enrique. I'ida y Escritos de Juan Clemenle Zrnea, 

Paris, 1901. 
Pineyro, Enrique. Biografias americanas, Paris. 

" " Hombres y Glorias de America, Pari*. 



Chapter XIII 

Antologia dominicana. Col. by P. Henriquez Urena and M. F. 

Cestero, New York. 
Henriquez Urena, Pedro. Horas de Estudio, Paris, 1909. 
Hostos, Eugenio M. Meditando, Paris. 
Antologia ■puertorriquefia. Col. by M. Fernandez Juncos, New 

York, 1907. 
Fernandez Juncos, Manuel. Semhlanzas puertorriquenos, P. R. 

Lira costarricense. Col. by M. Fernandez, San Jose, C. R. 1890. 
Honduras literaria. Col. by R. E. Duron, Tegucigalpa, 1896. 
Guirnalda salvadorena. Col. by R. Mayorga Rivas, San Salvador, 

Lugarenas, antologia. Col. by C. A. Imendia, San Salvador, 1895. 
Batres Jauregui, A. Literatos guatemaltecos, Guatemala, 1896. 

Chapter XIV 

\J Blanco Fombona, Rufino. Letras y Letrados de Hispano-Americat 

Paris, 1908. 
yj Blanco Fombona, Rufino. In La Revista de America, Paris, 

1912 fF., various articles. 
Gonzalez Blanco, Andres. Estudio preliminar to the Obras 

escogidas o( Ruben Dario, 3 vols., Madrid, 1910. 
Gonzalez Blanco, Andres. Introduction to Fiat Lux, select 

poems of J. S. Chocano, Paris, 1908. 
Gutierrez Najera, Manuel. Poesias with introduction by Justo 

Sierra, Paris, 1896. 
Meza, Ramon. Julian del Casal, Estudio biografico, Habana, 



(In this index names of periodicals are printed in Italics; pen 
names, popular titles, catchwords, et cetera, are indicated by 
quotation marks.) 

Acevedo Diaz, Eduardo, 1S7 
Achd, Francis X. do, 174 
Acosta, Cecilio, 315 
Acosta, Joaquin, 300 
Acosta de Samper, Soledad, 

2QO, 300 
Acuna, Manuel, 350 
Acuna de Figueroa, Francisco, 

"Adolfo de la Azucena" see 

J. C. Zenea, 409 
Agramonte, Ignacio, 423 
Agiieros, Victoriano, 357 
Alamin, Lucas, 356 
Alberdi, Juan Bautista, 121 
Album, El, 308 
Aldao, Martin, 168 
Alderete, Ger6nimo de, 7 
Alfonso, Jose Luis, 377 
"alh6ndiga de granaditas," 80 
Allende, Ignacio, 80 
Alonso, Manuel A., 440 
Alpuche, Wenceslao, 84 
Altamirano, Ignacio Manuel, 

345 ff- 
Althaus, Clemente, 250 
Alvirez, Francisco, 443 

Alvirez de F16rez, Mercedes, 

Alvirez de Toledo, Hernando, 

Alvirez de Velasco y Zorrilla, 

Francisco, 29 
Alvear, Carlos de, 53 
"Amarilis," 21 
America Po&ica, 123 
Amezaga, Carlos de, 253 
Amiga del Pueblo, El, 210 
Araunitegui, Gregorio V'fctor, 

Amunitegui, Miguel Luis, 241 
Amy, Francisco Javier, 443 
Andrade, Olcgario \'fctor, 154 
Andrade Coello, Alejandro, 272 
Angulo Guridi, Javier, 433 
Aniccto el Gallo, 139 
"Antioco" see G. Gutidrrez 

Gonziles, 285 
Arag6n, Joaquin, 448 
Arango y Escand6n, Alejandro, 

Araucano, El, 197 
Arlx)leda, Julio, 278 IT. 
Argerich, Antonio, 164 





Argiiello, Santiago, 449 
Ariosto, Ludovico de, 6 
"Arona, Juan de" see P. Paz 

Soldin, 251 
Arpas Cubanas, 429 
Arrascaeta, Enrique de, 174 
Arreguine, Victor, 185 
Arteaga Alemparte, Domingo, 

Arteaga Alemparte, Justo, 215 
Asbaje y Ramirez de Cantillana, 

Juana Ines (Sor Juana), 26 
Ascasubi, Hilario, 137 
"Asociaci6n de Mayo," in, 123 
Aureola Po6tica, 376 
Aurora de Chile, 50 
Avalos y Figueroa, Diego de, 22 
Azcdrate, Nicolas, 406 

BachUler y Morales, Antonio, 

Balbuena, Bernardo de, 20 
Balcarce, Florencio, 107 
Baldorioty de Castro, Romin, 

Banchs, Enrique, 160 
Baralt, Rafael Maria, 306 
Barco Centenera, Martin del, 16 
Barra, Eduardo de la, 221 
Barra, Emma la, 167 
Barrenechea y Albis, Fray 

Juan de, 14 
Barros Arana, Diego, 241 
Barros Grez, Daniel, 231 
Bastidas, Antonio, 22 
Batres y Monttifar, Jose de, 446 
Bauz4, Francisco, 170, 186 

Bedoya, Manuel, 261 
Belgrano, Manuel, 43 
Bello, Andres, 72, 197 ff. 
BeUo, Carlos, 200 
Bello, Francisco, 199 
BeUo, Juan, 200 
Belmonte, Luis de, 19 
Belzu, Manuel, 257 
Benitez, Alejandrina, 439 
Bermudez, Pedro P., 172 
Bermudez, Washington P., 181 
Bernal, Juan Jose, 448 
Bernardez, Manuel, 190 
Berro, Adolf o, 172 
Berro, Bernardo Prudencia, 174 
Biblioteca, La, 165 
Bibliokca atnericana, La, 74 
Bilbao, Francisco, 209, 221 
Bilbao, Manuel, 224 
BUlini, Francisco Gregorio, 435 
Blanco, Eduardo, 324 
Blanco Cuartin, Manuel, 216 
Blanco Fombona, Rufino, 327 
Blanco White, Jose, 74 
Blest Gana, Alberto, 224 fT. 
Blest Gana, Guillermo, 211 
Blixen, Samuel, 192 
Bocanegra, Matias de, 25 
Bolet Peraza, Nicanor, 317 
Bolivar, Rafael, 327 
Bolivar, Sim6n, 61, 64, 67 
Borda, Jose Joaquin, 290 
B6rquez Solar, Antonio, 222 
Borrero Echeverria, Esteban, 

Borrero de Luj&n, Dulce Maria, 






Brickies. Ren{', 236 
Brifba, Liborio E., 230 
Bungc, Carlos Antonio, 168 
/ Bustanionlo, Carlos M., 356 
Busto, Jos6 G. del, 182 

Cabello de Carbonero, Mer- 
cedes, 25Q 
Cabrero Male, Rafael, 326 
Caicedo Rojas, Jos^, 289 
Calcano, Eduardo, 316 
Calcaiio, Jose Antonio, 3 1 1 
Calcano, Julio, 324 
Caldas, Francisco Jose, 34 
Calder6n, Fernando, 337 
Calleja del Rey, Felix, 81 
Calvo, Daniel, 262 
Camagiieyano, "El," see A. 

Mityans, 419 
Cambaceres, Eugenio, 162 
Campo, Estanislao del, 141 
Campos, Francisco, 272 
Cancionero de Borinquen, 439 
Cdnovas del Castillo, Antonio, 

Cfi.nas, Juan Jose, 448 
Cdnete, Manuel, 66 
Caro, Jos6 Eusebio, 275 
Caro, Miguel Antonio, 283, 291 
Carpio, Juan del, 260 
Carpio, Manuel, 339 
Carrasquilla, Ricardo, 290, 292 
Carrasquilla, Tomis, 303 
Carrera, the brothers, 50, 51, 52 
Cartas de relacion, 3 
Casal, Julian del, 453 
Castellanos, Jesus, 4 28 

Castcllanos, Juan dc, 15 
Cast ilia, Raniftii, 244 
Castillo, Manuel, 240 
Censor americano. El, 446 
*'C6sar Duayen" see Emma dc 

la Barra, 167 
C6spcdes, Carlos Manuel dc, 

408, 41 1 
Cestero, Manuel F., 437 
Cestero, Tulio M., 437 
Cetina, Guticrre de, 20 
Chac6n, Jacinto, 207 
Charivari, El, 21$ 
Chavero, Alfredo, 360 
Chipazo, El, 2^2 
"chipazos," 246 
Chocano, Jos6 Santos, 469 ff. 
Cisneros, Baltasar de, 43 
Cisneros, Luis Benjamin, 253 
Cochrane, Thomas, Earl of 

Dundonald, 54 
Cojo ilustrado, Zi/, 327 
Coll, Pedro Emilio, 333 
Concha Castillo, Francisco A., 

Condc de la Granja, 19 
Conte, F. A., 423 
Conto, C6sar, 296 
Contreras, Francisco, 322 
Corchado, Manuel, 442 
Cordero, Luis, 269 
Coronado, Martin, 147 
Corpancho, Manuel NicolAs, 

Carreo del Domingo, EI, 1 20 
Correo de Mexico, EJ, 346 
Correo del Per A, EJ, 258 



Cortina, Jose Antonio, 417 
Cosmopolis, 326, 466 
Cruz, La, 341 
Cruz, Manuel de la, 423 
Cruz, Pedro Nolasco, 234 
Cuatro Laudes, 395 
Cuba Contempordnea, 429 
Cuba y America, 429 
"Cuculambe El," see J. C. 

Napoles Fajardo, 402 
Cuenca, Agustin F., 350 
Cuenca, Claudio Mamerto, 117 
Cuervo, Rufino Jose, 303 
Cueva, Juan de la, 32 

Dario, Ruben, 221, 445, 450 flf., 

Dario Maldonado, Samuel, 323 
Delgado, Rafael, 367 
Deligne, Gaston F., 437 
Deligne, Rafael A., 437 
Del Monte, Domingo, 376, 

377, 381 
Del Monte, Felix Maria, 432 
Diaz, Eugcnio, 290, 291 
Diaz, Jose de Jesus, 342 
Diaz, Leopoldo, 466 
Diaz, Porfirio, 357 
Diaz Covarrubias, Juan, 343 
Diaz Mirdn, Salvador, 365, 

Diaz Rodriguez, Manuel, 332 
Diaz Romero, Eugenio, 160 
Dieguez, Juan, 447 
Dominici, Pedro Cesar, 326 
Dominguez, Luis L., 120 
Dominguez, Manuel, 356 

Dominguez Camargo, Her- 
nando, 22 
"Don Julio" see J. Arboleda, 

Duarte, Juan Pablo, 431 
Duble Urrutia, Diego, 223 
"Duque Job, El," see M. 
Gutierrez Najera, 364 

Echeverria, Aquileo J., 449 
Echeverria, Esteban, 107 ff. 
Echeverria, Jose Antonio, 376 
"Edda" see R. Pombo, 296 
El Espanol, 74 
El Espectador, 267 
Eliz, Leonardo, 222 
Encina, Carlos, 151 

ErcUla y Zuiiiga, Alonso de, 6 

Errazuriz, Isidoro, 209 
Esc6iquiz, Juan de, 17 
Espejo, A. C, 238 
Espejo de mi Tierra, 247 
Espinosa Medrano, Juan de, 23 
Espinosa de Rend6n, Silveria, 

Esquilache, Prince of, 2 1 
Estrella nacional, La, 275 
Evia, Jacinto de, 22 

Fajardo, Heraclio C, 175 
Fallon, Diego, 294 
Fernandez Juncos, Manuel, 443 
Fernandez de Lizardi, Jos6 

Joaquin, 87 
Fernandez Madrid, Jos6, 69 
Fiallo, Fabio, 437 



Figaro, El, 4^0 

Figarola Cancda, Domingo, 

i'^h note 
Flores, Juan Jose, 6q 
Flores, Manuel Maria, 343 
Fombona Palacio, Manuel, 322 
Fomaris, Jos^, 400 
Foxd, Narciso de, 432, 440 
Fraguciro, Rafael, 1S5 
Francisca Josefa dc la Concep- 

ci6n, 29 
Frias y Soto, Hilari6n, 356 
Funes, Gregorio, 47 

GaceUi de Buenos Aires, La, 43 
Gaceta de Caracas, La, 305 
Gagini, Carlos, 44Q 
Galindo, Francisco E., 448 
Galindo, Nestor, 262 
Gallego, Juan Nicasio, 378 
Gallegos del Campx), Emilio, 

Gallegos Naranjo, Emilio, 272 
Galvan, Manuel de Jesus, 435 
Gilvez, Jose, 260 
Gilvez, Manuel, 160 
Gamboa, Federico, 370 
Garay, Juan de, 16 
Garcia, Manuel Adolfo, 252 
Garcia, Quintiliano, 307 
Garcia Caldcrdn, Francisco, 261 
Garcia Caldcr6n, Ventura, 248 
Garcia Godoy, Federico, 437 
Garcia Goyena, 75 
Garcia Icazbalceta, Joaquin, 

Garcia Merou, Martin, 159 

Garcia Moreno, Gabriel, 265 
Garcia dc Qucvcdo, ]oii Hcri- 

berto, 308 
Garcia del Rio, 74 
Garcilaso de la \'ega, the 

Inca, 4 
Garriga, Pablo, 220 
Gautier, Arce, 439 
Gauticr Benitez, Jos6, 439 
Gil Fortoul, Jos^, 325 
Godoy, Juan Gualberto, 61 
G6mez, Juan Carlos, 173 
G6mez, Juan \'icente, 329 
G6mcz, Maximo, 426, 436 
G6mez dc Avellaneda, Ger- 

trudis, 405 
G6mez Carrillo, Enrique, 473 
G6mez Restrepo, Antonio, 298 
Gonzalez, Arevalo, 326 
Gonzalez, Juan Vicente, 312 
Gonzdlez, Pedro Antonio, 222 
Gonzalez Camargo, Joaquin, 

' Gonzalez de Eslava, FemAn, 32 
Gonzalez Martinez, Enrique, 

Gonzalez Obreg6n, Luis. 356 
Gonzdlez Prada, Manuel, 254 
"Goodman, H.," 414 
Gorostiza, Manuel Eduardo dc, 

Gorriti de Beku, Juana Man- 

uela, 161, 257 
Granadino, EI, 275 
Grez, Vicente, 232 
"grito de Dolores," 80 
Gruussac, Paul, 164 

488 INDEX 

Guardia, Heraclio de la, 319 Huneeus Gana, Jorge, 242 

"guajiros," 378 Hurtado de Mendoza, Andres, 

Guerrero, Vicente, 82 7, 11 

Guido y Spano, Carlos, 152 Hurtado de Mendoza, Garcia, 

Gutierrez, Eduardo, 146 7, 10, 11 

Gutierrez, Juan Maria, 123 

Gutierrez, Ricardo, 139 Interprete, El, 246 

Gutierrez Coll, Jacinto, 322 Irisarri, Antonio Jose de, 74, 

Gutierrez Gonzalez, Gregorio, 207, 445 

284 Irisarri, Herm6genes de, 207 

Gutierrez Najera, Manuel, 363, Isaacs, Jorge, 300, 302 

452 Iturbide, Agustin de, 82 

Guzmkn Blanco, Antonio, 318 Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando de Alva, 

Hahana elegante, La, 454 

Habanero, El, 374 Jaimes Freyre, Ricardo, 263, 

Henriquez, Camilo, 50, 58 466 

Henriquezy Carvajal, Federico, Jimenez de Quesada, Gonzalo, 

436 273 

Henriquez y Carvajal, Fran- "Jotabeche" see J. J. Vallejo, 

Cisco, 434 200 

Henriquez Urena, Max, 428, Juarez, Benito, 344 

438 "juegos florales," 151 
Henriquez Urena, Pedro, 32, 

362, 438 Labarca Hubertson, Guillermo, 

Heredia, Jose Maria, 90 ff. 238 

Hernandez, Domingo Ram6n, Labarden, Manuel Jose de, 37 

314 "laborantes," 414 

Hernandez, Jose, 143 Lafinur, Juan Cris6stomo, 59 

Hernandez, Pedro Jose, 317 Landivar, Rafael, 28, 445 

Hernandez Miyares, Enrique, Lapuente, Laurindo, 179 

429 Larriva, Jose Joaquin, 56 

Herrera y Reissig, Julio, 468 Las Casas, Fray Bartolom6 

Hidalgo, Bartolome, 60 de, 3 

Hidalgo, Manuel, 80 Lasso de la Vega, Gabriel, 17 

Hojas Literarias, 391, 424 Lastarria, Jose Victorino, 200, 

Hostos, Eugenio Maria, 442 212 





Lathrop, Carlos, 216 
I^vallo. General Juan, iir 
Lazo Martf, Francisco, 323 
Leguizani6n, Martiniano P., 

Lens, Benjamin, 262 
"Liberator^' see SimAn Bolivar, 

"libresde Cuzco," 259 
La Lira arf^ciitina, 57 
Lillo. Baldomero, 238 
Lillo, Eusebio, 210 
Lillo, Samuel A., 223 
Liniers, Jacques de, 41. 42 
La Linlcnia del Diablo, 215 
Lira, Martin Jose, 213 
Lista, Alberto, 244, 377 
Llona, Numa Pompilio, 268 
L6pez, Jose H., 279 
Ldpez, Lucio V., 164 
L6pez, Narcisco, 2>9i 
L6pez, Vicente Fidel, 121, 

L6pez de Brinas, Felipe, 396 
Lopez Jordan, 131 
L6pez Mendez, Luis, ^ii 
L6pez y Planes, \'icente, 42, 

L6pez Portillo y Rojas, Jos^, 

Lozano, Abigail, 308, 310 
Luaces, Joaquin Lorenzo, 403 
Luca, Esteban de, 57 
Lugo, Amcrico, 437 
Lugoncs. Leopoldo, 467 fT. 
Luz y Caballero, Jose de la, 

407 fl. 

Machado, Rafael, 449 
Maciel, Santiago, 1S6 
Madiedo, Manuel Marfa, 21)3 
"Madre Castillo," 29 
Magallancs Moure, Manuel, 

Magariftos Cervantes, Alejan 

dro. 176 
Magarinos Solsofta, Mateo, 190 
ALiitin, Jose Antonio, 308 
Alaldonado, Alfonso M., 356 
Mann, Horace, 132 
Manrique, Jos^ Marfa, 324 
Mansilla de Garcia, Eduarda, 

Manzano, Jose Francisco, 377 
Marfa Cristina, queen regent, 

Marin de Solar, Mercedes, 207 
Markham, Clements R., 46 
Mirmol. Jose, 114 
Marquez, Jos6 Amaldo, 250 
Marroqufn, Jose Marfa, 291 
Marroqm'n, Lorenzo, 303 
Martf, Jos^, 320, 424 ffi 473 
Martinez, Juan Francisco, 43 
Martinez, Saturnino, 406 
Martinez Campos, General 

Arsenio, 417 
Martinez de la Rosa, Francisco, 

Martinez ViUergas. Juan, 129 
Martinto. Domingo, 159 
Marlir iibre, Ei, 49 
Mas y Pi, Juan, 160 
Mata, Andr6s, 323 
Mateos, Juan Antonio, 354 




Matta, Guillermo, 213 
Matto de Turner, Clorinda, 258 
Maximilian of Austria, 345 
Maziel, Juan Baltasar, 36 
"mazhorca," 106 
Medina, Jose Toribio, 12, 242 
Melian Lafinur, .\lvaro, 160 
Melian Lafinur, Luis, 182 
Melgar, Mariano, 55 
Mendez, Ger\'asio, 158 
Mendive, Rafael Maria, 395, 

Mendoza, Daniel, 316 
Mendoza, Juan de, 12 
Menendez y Pelayo, Marcelino, 

ix, 18, 64, 76, 102, 112, 123, 

201, 286, 446 
Merchan, Rafael, 410, 413 
Mer curio chileno, El, 196 
Mer curio peruano, El, 35 
Mercurio de Valparaiso, El, 118 
Mera, Juan Le6n, 270 
Merlo de la Fuente, Luis, 14 
Mexia, Diego, 22 
Meza, Ramon, 423 
Michelena, Tomas, 325 
Milanes, Jose Jacinto, 379 flf. 
Milla, Jose, 447 
Minvielle, Rafael, 200 
Miranda, General Francisco de, 

Misoforo, El, 278 
Mitre, Adolfo, 159 
Mitre, Bartolome, viii, 117 flf. 
Mitre, Julio E., 159 
Mityans, Aurelio, 419 
Molinillo, El, 174 

Montalvo, Juan, 266 
Monteagudo, Bernardo de, 49 
Montes Victoriano E., 180 
Montes del Valle, Agripina, 299 
Montt, Ambrosio, 219 
Montt, Enrique, 234 
Montt, Luis, 242 
Montt, Manuel, 126 
Mora, Jose Jeaquin de, 196 
Morales Lemus, Jose, 415 
Moratorio, Orosman, 180 
Morelos, Jose Maria, 81 
Moreno, Mariano, 43 
Moreno Cora, Silvestre, 368 
Mosaico, El, 290 
Mota, Felix, 433 
Mujer, La, 300 
Munoz, Gabriel E., 322 
Munoz del Monte, Francisco, 

Murillo, Valentin, 234 
Mutis, Jose Celestino, 34 

Nacion, La, 120 

Napoles Fajardo, Juan Cris- 

t6bal, 402 
Navarrete, Fray Manuel de, 33 
Navarro Viola, Alberto, 159 
Navarro Viola, Rliguel, 160 
Negro Timoteo, El, 181 
"neo-espanol," 466 
Nervo, Amado, 469 
Netzahualcoyotl, 340 
"Nigromante, El," 346 
Nosotros, 160 
"Nuestra Senora de Guade- 

lupe," 25 





Nuficz dc Cdccres, J. M., 317 
Nuftez, Rafael, jg4 
Nuftez de Pineda y Bascufian, 
Francisco, 14 

Obligado, Rafael, 145, 148 
Ocampo, Luis S., 159 
Ocantos, Carlos Maria, 165 
Ochoa y Acuna, Anastasio de, 

O'Donaju, Juan, S^ 
O'Donnell, Leopoldo, 392 
O'Higgins, Bernardo, 52, 59 
(H)Ojeda, Fray Diego de, 18 
Olmcdo, Jose Joaquin, 64 
Ollanti, 30 
Ofta, Pedro de, 10 
Onate, Juan de, 15 
Orihuela Grcz, Borja, 235 
Orozco y Berra, Fernando, 353 
Orrcgo Luco, Luis, 237 
Orrego de Uribe, Rosario, 215 
Ortega, Francisco, 86 
Ortiz, Jose Joaquin, 275, 286 
"Ostend manifesto," 394 
Oth6n, Manuel Jose, 362 
Oviedo y Herrera, Luis Antonio, 

Oyuela, Calixto, 150, 151 

Pacheco, Emilio, 449 
Pacheco, Ram6n, 231 
Pacheco y Obes, Melchor, 179 
Pagaza, Joaquin Arcadio, 362 
Palma, Clemente, 260 
Paima, Martin, 228 
Palma, Ricardo, 254 fl. 

Palma y Romay. Ram6ii do, 301 
Palomcque, AIIktIo, i8q 
Papcl pcribdico, EJ, 89 
Papd pcriMiiO ilustnuio, /•]/, ago 
Pardo, Francisco Ciuaycaypuro, 

Pardo, Manuel, 244 

Pardo, Miguel Eduardo, 333 

Pardo y Aliaga, Felipe, 244 

Parra, Purfirio, 3O9 

Patria, Lai, 421 

Payno, Manuel, 352 

Payr6, Roberto J., 168 

Paz Solddn y Uninue, Pedro, 

Pellerano Castro, Arluro, 437 
"pelucones," 208 
"pensador Mexicano, El," see 

Fernandez de Lizurdi, 87 
Pcnson, Cesar Nicolas, 435 
Pe6n y Contreras, Jos^. 356 fT. 
Peralta y Bamuevo, Pedro de, 
, 24 

Perez, Felipe, 288 
Perez, Francisco de Sales, 317 
Perez, Jos^ Joaquin, 434 
Perez, Santiago, 288 
P6rez Bonalde. Juan Antonio, 

319 ff. 
P^rez Nieto, Estanislao, 181 
P6rez Petit, Victor, 192, 193 
P^rez Rosales, Vicente, 242 
Perez de Zambrana. Luisa, 395 
Pcsado, Jose Joaquin, 339 
Peza, Juan dc Dios, 361 
Pezucia, General Joaquin de la, 




Pic6n Febres, Gonzalo, 329 ff. 

Pichardo, Manuel S., 429 

Pimentel, Francisco, 357 

Pimentel Coronel, Manuel, 323 

Pineda, Juan de, 7 

Pinz6n Rico, Jose Maria, 296 

Piiieyro, Enrique, 411, 415 ff. 

Pineyro del Campo, Luis, 185 

"pipiolos," 208 

"Placido" see G. de la C. Val- 
des, 385 

"plan de Iguala," 82 

Plantel, El, 376 

Plata cientifico y literario, El, 

Plaza, Antonio, 351 

Pluma i L&piz, 223 

Pombo, Rafael, 296 

Portales, Diego, 207, 208 

Posada, Joaquin Pablo, 295 

Poveda y Armenteros, Fran- 
cisco, 379 

Pozos Dulces, Conde de los, 

Pr^ndez, Pedro Nolasco, 220 
Prieto, Guillermo, 346 
Progreso, El, 127 
Prud'homme, Emilio, 436 
Pueyrred6n, Juan Martin de, 54 
Pumagua, el cacique, 55 

Quesada, Gonzalo de, 426 
Quesada, Ernesto, 165 
Quesada, Vicente G., 120 
Quintana, Manuel Jos6, 375 
Quiroga, Facundo, 127 
Quitana Roo, Andres, 84 

Rabasa, Emilio, 367 
Racamonde, Victor, 323 
Ramirez, General, 55 
Ramirez, Carlos Maria, 187 
Ramirez, Ignacio, 345 
Ramos, Jose Luis, 306 
Repertorio americano, 74 
Restrepo, Jos6 Manuel, 303 
Revista argenlina, La, 120 
Rmsta azul. La, 364 
Revista bimestre cuhana. La, 382, 

Revista de Buenos Aires, La, 124, 

Revista de Cuba, La, 420 
Revista cubana, La, 420 
Revista de la Habana, La, 397 
Revista latina, La, 465 
Revista literaria, La, i-jg 
Revista moderna. La, 466 
Revista del Pacifico, La, 2x2 
Revista del Rio de la Plata, La, 

Revista de Santiago, La, 210 
Revolucidti, La, 411, 414 
Revue sud-americaine. La, 467 
'Reyles, Carlos, 190 
Reyna Zeballos, Miguel de, 19 
Riego, Rafael del, 375 
Riquelme, Daniel, 239 
Riva Agiiero, Jose de la, 261 
Riva Palacio, Vicente, 354 
Rivadavia, Bernardino, 104 
Rivarola, Pantale6n, 42 
Rivarola, Enrique E., 160 
Rivera Indarte. Jos6, 116 
Roa, Ram6n, 423 




Roa Bircena, Jos6 Marfa, 341 
Roca, General Julio, 155 
Rocuant, Miguel, 523 
Rod6, Jose Enrique. 474 
Roiiriguez, Fray Cayetano, 56 
Rodriguez, Jose Ignacio, 423 
Rodriguez Galvdn, Ignacio, 335 
Rodriguez Larrcta, Enrique, 

1 68 
Rodriguez Mendoza, Emilio, 

Rodriguez de Ti6. Lola, 443 
Rodriguez \'elasco, Luis. 216 
Rojas. Juan Rani6n. 58 
Roldin. Jos^ Gonzalo, 395, 396 
Romero Garcia. Manuel, 326 
Rosas, Juan Manuel, 106 
Rosas Moreno, Jose, 348 
Rossel, Ricardo, 252 
Roxlo, Carlos, 186 
Rubalcava, Manuel Justo de, 89 
Rueda. Salvador, 365 
Ruiz .\raujo, Isaac, 448 
Ruiz de Alarc6n, Juan, ^2 
Ruiz de Le6n, Francisco, 18, 28 

Saavedra Guzmin, Antonio de, 

Saco, Jos^ Antonio, 381 fl., 392 
Saenz Ovecurri, Fray Diego, 19 
Salaverry, Carlos Augusto, 250 
Salazar, Jose Maria de, 71 
Salazar, Salvador, 429 
"Salome Gil" see Jos^ Milla, 

Saltcrain, Joaquin de, 180 
Samper, Jos^ Maria, 2S9 

Sinchcz M4rmol, Manuel, 355 
Sdnchez Pesqucra, Miguel, 321 
S4nchcz de Tagic, Francisco 

Manuel, 85 
Sanfucntc-s, Salvador, 203 
Sanguily, Manuel, 391, 424 
San Martfn, Jos^ de, 52 
Santa Cruz y Esjhjo, Francisco 

Kugcnio, 35 
Santibdnez, F., 23S 
Santistevan Osorio, Diego dc, 

Samiiento, Domingo Faustino, 

^25 fl., 198 
Sassone, Felipe, 261 
Sanz, Miguel Jos^, 306 
Segura, Manuel A., 247 
Sellen, Antonio, 417 
Sellen, Francisco, 417 
Scnuinario liter ario, EI, 199 
Semanario de Ic Nueva Granada, 

Sierra, Justo (junior), 353 
Sierra, Justo (senior), 352 
Sigh, EI, 41s 
Sigilenza y G6ngora, Carlos de, 

Silva, Jos6 Asunci6n. 304. 455 ff. 
Silva, \ictor Domingo, 33$ 
Silva de la Fuente, Alejandro, 

"Sim6n Ayanque" sec Tcrralla 

y Landa, 35 
Soffia, Josi Antonio, 218 
Solar, Alberto dcJ, 239 
Solar. Flnriquc del. 239 
Sor Juana liics dc la Cruz, 26 



Sosa, Francisco, 357 
Soto y Calvo, Francisco, 145 
Suarez y Romero, Anselmo, 383 
Sucre, Antonio Jose de, 63 
Sucre, Dolores, 272 

Tablada, Juan Jose, 365 
Taboada, Francisco Gil de, 35 
Tacon, Miguel, 377 
Tapia, Alejandro, 440 
Tejera, Diego Vicente, 419 
Tejera, Felipe, 319 
Telegrafo mercantil . . . del Rio 

de la Plata, 38 
TerraUa y Landa, Esteban de, 

Terrazas, Francisco de, 17 
Teurbe de ToI6n, Miguel de, 

Ticknor, George, 124, 382 
Tobar, Carlos R., 272 
Tovar, Pantale6n, 353 
Tondreau, Narciso, 222 
Toro, Fermin, 307 
Torres Arce, Jose Antonio, 216 
Torres Arce, Victor, 217 
Torres Caicedo, Jose Maria, 303 
Tovar, Pantale6n, 353 
Tribuna, La, 155 
Tupac Amaru, 46 
Tucapelina, 36 

Ugarte, Manuel, 168 
Ulloa, Francisco, 230 
Unamuno, Miguel de, 144 
Unanue, Hip61ito, 35 
Urbaneja Achelpohl, Luis, 327 

Urbina, Luis G., 365, 366 
Urena de Mendoza, Nicolas, 432 
Urena de Henriquez, Salome, 

Uribe, Diego, 298 
Urquiza, Justo Jose de, 122, 130 
Usca paucar, 31 
Ustariz, Francisco Javier, 306 

Valderrama, Adolf o, 216 
Valdes, .\ntonio, 31, 38 
Valdes, Gabriel de la Concep- 

ci6n, 385 ff. 
Valdes Machuca, Ignacio, 376 
Valencia, Guillermo, 472 
Valenzuela, Mario, 296 
Valera, Juan, 156, 157, 183, 271, 

292, 298, 459 
Valle, Juan, 344 
Valle y Ca\aedes, Juan del, 23 
Vallejo Jose Joaquin, 200 
Valledor Sanchez, Gustavo, 222 
Valmaseda, Conde de, 411 
Valverde, Fray Fernando de, 

Varela, Federico, 220 
Varela, Florencio, 137 
Varela, Juan Cruz, 104 
Vareia y Morales, Felix, 374 
Vargas, Moises, 230 
Vargas Tejada, Luis, 71 
Vargas Vila, Jose Maria, 474 
Varona, Enrique Jose, 419 flf. 
Visquez, Honorato, 269 
Veintemilla de Galindo, Do- 
lores, 26Q 
Velarde, Fernando, 447 




\'clasco, Carlos de, 429 

X'elasio, Juan de, 39 

V61ez y Herrera, Ram6n, 378 

Venegas, Francisco Javier, 81 

Vcm-zoiiino, EI, jii 

Vera y Pintado, Bernardo de. 

Vergara y V'ergara, Jos^ Marfa, 

\'6rtiz, Juan Jos^, 36 
\'ial, Ram6n, 239 
Viana, Javner de, 190 
Victoria, Guadclufje, 83 
Vicufia Mackenna, Benjamin, 

Vida Moderna, 189 
Vidarte, Santiago, 439 
Villaverde, Cirilo, 383 
\'illagra, Caspar de, 15 
Villalobos, Rosendo. 263 
Vot dd Siglo, La, 407 

Walker Martfncz. Carlos, 317 

Xufre del Aguila, Mekhor, 13 

"Vara, grito de," 408 
"yaravf," 56, 270 
Vei)cs, Jos6 Ram6n, 313 
Verovi, Leonidas N., 260 

Zaldumbidc, Julio, 269 
Zambrana, Ram6n, 395 
"Zanj6n, pacto de," 409 
Zapiola. Jos^, 242 
Zayas Enrfquez, Rafael de, 365 
Zenea, Juan Cleniente, 40g fT. 
Zequeira y Arango, Manuel de, 

Zorrilla de San Martin, Juan, 

Zum^rraga, Fray Juan de, 5 
Zumeta, C6sar, m 

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